Miami Dolphins extend NFL winning streak
The Miami Dolphins have beaten the short-handed New Orleans Saints 20-3, becoming the first NFL team to win seven straight games after losing seven in a row.
Miami (8-7) got a 28-yard pick-six from Nik Needham, a 1-yard flip from Tua Tagovailoa to Jaylen Waddle and a pair of Jason Sanders field goals.
The Dolphins' winning streak is the second-longest active run in the NFL, trailing only the Kansas City Chiefs and came after their defence had its first eight-sack game since 2012.
New Orleans (7-8) were without 22 players due to COVID-19 protocols.
Quarterback Ian Book made his NFL debut and struggled against Miami's blitzing defence.
As has been the case all year, Tagovailoa threw mostly safe passes, going 19-of-26 for 198 yards with one interception and the one touchdown.
Waddle caught 10 passes for 92 yards. For the season, he has 96 catches for 941 yards, breaking Chris Chambers' Dolphins rookie record for receiving yards.
Book's second career NFL pass resulted in a Dolphins touchdown.
Andrew Van Ginkel deflected the pass at the line of scrimmage, and Needham turned it into an easy 28-yard interception return and a 7-0 Miami lead.
On their second possession, Miami extended their lead to 10-0 on Sanders' 48-yard field goal.
New Orleans got on the board with 2 minutes 45 seconds left in the first half, mounting an eight-play, 55-yard drive that led to Brett Maher's 38-yard field goal.
Miami led 10-3 at halftime.
With 5:10 left in the third quarter, Miami's offence became the first to reach the end zone.
It went down as a 1-yard scoring pass, but it was actually an end-around flip to Waddle, who cut back inside to increase Miami's lead to 17-3.
That touchdown was set up by a huge third-and-nine play as Tagovailoa lofted a 40-yard pass to Mack Hollins, who made the catch despite apparent defensive interference.
Later in the drive, the Dolphins converted a third-and-two due to a roughing-the-passer penalty.
Sanders' 34-yard field goal with 12:05 left in the fourth gave Miami a 20-3 advantage.
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