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Pro Football Week 5 | NEW ENGLAND 30, NEW ORLEANS 27

Bledsoe Keeps Saints From 4-0

October 05, 1998|From Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS — The New Orleans Saints' 3-0 start was a surprise. A 4-0 record would have been a shock, and they almost pulled it off.

The New England Patriots dug in on defense to force a New Orleans field goal with 1:32 left, then used some last-minute magic from Drew Bledsoe to end the Saints' unlikely streak with a 30-27 victory Sunday.

"I feel like I've always been excellent at responding to adverse situations," Bledsoe said. "I'm accused of not being a fiery enough leader, but one of my attributes is keeping my cool and being able to come back."

After New Orleans tied the score at 27-27 with 1:32 remaining, Bledsoe completed passes of nine, 16, 10 and 27 yards to set up Adam Vinatieri's third field goal--a 27-yarder with six seconds left to win the game.

"We used to get in these wacky games a lot when I first got here," Patriot receiver Troy Brown said. "It seemed like then we always came out on the losing end. Now we're learning to win these games."

The Saints, who started the season with three victories over teams with a combined 1-10 record, tied the game after a heady play by punt returner Andre Hastings. New England (3-1) led 27-24 when the Patriots punted.

New England's Tebucky Jones batted the ball out of the end zone to Larry Whigham, who unsuccessfully tried to down it.

With the ball bouncing around, Hastings grabbed it and raced 76 yards to the Patriot 26, with punter Tom Tupa saving the touchdown. New England managed to hold and New Orleans had to settle for Doug Brien's second field goal to tie the score.

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