Saturday, February 24, 2018
Sports

Broncos 25, Saints 23

National Football Conference
SouthWLT%PFPAeastWLT%PFPANorthWLT%PFPAWestWLT%PFPA
AtlantaDallasChicagoArizona
CarolinaN.Y. GiantsGreen BaySan Francisco
New OrleansPhiladelphiaMinnesotaSeattle
Tampa BayWashingtonDetroitSt. Louis


American Football Conference
SouthWLT%PFPAeastWLT%PFPANorthWLT%PFPAWestWLT%PFPA
TennesseeBuffaloBaltimoreDenver
TexansN.Y. JetsPittsburghSan Diego
ColtsNew EnglandCincinnatiKansas City
JacksonvilleMiamiClevelandOakland


NEW ORLEANS — Justin Simmons' perfectly timed leap over Saints long snapper Justin Drescher brought the celebration inside the Superdome to a stunning halt and sent the Broncos galloping the other way for a first-of-its kind victory.

Just like Denver drew it up.

Will Parks scooped Simmons' block of Wil Lutz's extra point and ran 84 yards for a defensive two-point conversion that lifted Denver to a wild 25-23 victory over the Saints on Sunday.

Simmons said Denver calls the play "Leaper" and was "something we worked on all week."

"It took me a few tries to actually time it up and make sure I could clear the center" in practice, Simmons said. "We just picked up on their tendencies throughout the week watching film and executed the play."

The decisive play came while the Superdome crowd was still buzzing about Brandin Cooks' twisting, 32-yard touchdown catch between two defenders, which had put New Orleans in position to take the lead with 1:28 left. Simmons' block was scooped by Parks, who nearly stepped out of bounds as he raced down the left sideline.

"I'm still in disbelief a little bit. Especially when you score at the end," Saints quarterback Drew Brees said. "It's tough to play a game like that on both sides of the ball, fighting the way that we all did, and then for it to come down to something like that."

It was the first such play to provide the winning points in an NFL game and the third return for two points since the NFL began allowing defensive scores on such plays in 2015.

"We've always had that play in our arsenal," Simmons said. "You put it in the back of your pocket for a situation like this to go win the game."

New Orleans wasn't entirely unprepared. Drescher said the Saints have a pre-snap "Jumper" call that linemen are supposed to make when an opposing team's alignment tips off such a play.

"It's an awareness factor," Drescher said. "We've gone over this before and it's on me. It's my responsibility to get up and get him and I didn't do it, and I feel horrible. It's a horrible way to lose the game."

The Broncos made the play stand up by recovering an onside kick and running out the clock.

The Broncos' league-leading pass defense got the best of its matchup with New Orleans' top-rated passing offense thanks in large part to turnovers.

Safety Darian Stewart intercepted Brees twice and recovered a fumble for the Broncos. Three of Denver's four takeaways came on passes intended for Saints rookie sensation Michael Thomas. Thomas fumbled twice after catches, and one of Stewart's interceptions came on a pass Bradley Roby deflected out of Thomas' grasp.

Brees still wound up completing 21 of 29 passes for 303 yards and three touchdowns, the first two going to Willie Snead.

Brees final TD pass capped a six-play, 75-yard drive that began with 2:50 left and no timeouts.

Denver's Trevor Siemian overcame two interceptions by throwing touchdowns of 14 yards to Jordan Taylor and 2 yards to Demaryius Thomas.

25

23

Comments
Inside the Rays’ plan to prove the tanking truthers wrong

Inside the Rays’ plan to prove the tanking truthers wrong

PORT CHARLOTTE – The Rays know tanking."We tanked in 2006 and '07, if you want to call it that," principal owner Stuart Sternberg said. "We were the original tankers. Or tankees. It seems to be all the fad now."In losing 101 and 96 games in the...
Updated: 29 minutes ago
That guy standing by Cash in the dugout? All part of Rays’ plan

That guy standing by Cash in the dugout? All part of Rays’ plan

Jonathan ErlichmanFor a moment Friday, it looked as if a young businessman, accountant or computer guy had won one of those charity auctions to spend a game in uniform in the Rays dugout.Actually, it was Rays analytics director Jonathan Erlichman, a ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Practice makes perfect for Gasparilla 5K champions

Practice makes perfect for Gasparilla 5K champions

TAMPA — The only other time Taylor McDowell ran the Publix Gasparilla Distance Classic 5K, he came in 10th place. So as this year's event neared, the Tampa resident created a training plan, and he stuck to it.McDowell, who competed in cross cou...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Northeast High alumnus Jon Mott wins 3rd Gasparilla 15K crown

Northeast High alumnus Jon Mott wins 3rd Gasparilla 15K crown

TAMPA — Roughly 20 minutes into Saturday morning's Publix Gasparilla Distance Classic 15K, reigning champ A.J. Richmond glanced over his left shoulder to former college teammate Jon Mott and flashed a quick hand signal."He was telling me that t...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Ondrej Palat skating, likely mid-March return

Ondrej Palat skating, likely mid-March return

It is an encouraging sign for the Lightning that wing Ondrej Palat is back on the ice, even if it's just light skating.Palat is arguably the team's best two-way forward, someone who plays in all situations, so Tampa Bay has missed him big-time.But Pa...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Pregnant mother Paige Howard wins women’s Gasparilla 15K

Pregnant mother Paige Howard wins women’s Gasparilla 15K

TAMPA — Initially, Tampa's Paige Howard was a little reticent about joining the pre-dawn throng at the starting line of Saturday's Publix Gasparilla Distance Classic 15K.On a morning when temperatures began in the mid-60s and climbed, Howard's ...
Updated: 5 hours ago
For starters: Back to back starts for Duffy as Rays face Red Sox, 1:05

For starters: Back to back starts for Duffy as Rays face Red Sox, 1:05

UPDATE, 11:36: Manager Kevin Cash said the plan is to play Duffy on back to back days a couple times early in spring, believing the short bursts of activity will best help him build up after missing all of 2017. … Matt Andriese will come out of...
Updated: 6 hours ago
The truth about the Tampa Bay Rays’ reset

The truth about the Tampa Bay Rays’ reset

The Tampa Bay Rays are not going to be very good this year.We already knew that.They have gutted a team that won 80 games last season. Among those sent packing: Evan Longoria, Corey Dickerson, Jake Odorizzi and team MVP Steven Souza Jr.Yeah, this thi...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Rays spring training info: Saturday at Red Sox, 1:05

Rays spring training info: Saturday at Red Sox, 1:05

Rays Saturday scheduleAt Red Sox1:05, JetBlue Park, 11500 Fenway South Drive, Fort MyersPitchers: Rays – RH Jake Faria, RH Matt Andriese, RH Dustin McGowan, LH Ryan Yarbrough, RF Chaz Roe, LH Jose Alvarado, RH Evan Scribner, RH Jose Mujica; Red...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Marlins treat Stoneman Douglas players to an afternoon of baseball

Marlins treat Stoneman Douglas players to an afternoon of baseball

BY CLARK SPENCERMiami HeraldJUPITER – A player for the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School baseball team politely asked Marlins outfielder Monte Harrison if he would mind giving him a bat as a souvenir."Not only will I give you one of my bats,...
Updated: 12 hours ago