Saints Pivotal Moments
1984 @Browns: Andersen Winning Field Goal in Rain
The 3-5 Saints wanted to end a three-game losing streak as they traveled to Cleveland to meet the 1-7 Browns. The horrid start had cost Sam Rutigliano his job, with Marty Schot­tenheimer taking over for Game 9.
Despite their losing records, the two teams were tied for the NFL lead in passing defense through eight games, allowing 1,168 net yards each. That was one reason Schottenheimer, the defensive coordinator, was promoted to head coach midway through the season. The Saints also led the NFL in sacks but would get only two this day.
Only 52,489 fans showed up in the 80,000-seat Cleveland Stadium to watch the lackluster contest despite the fact that the Browns had not lost to the Saints in eight meetings. Never­theless the home team was a mere one-point favorite.
A boring game the first three quarters ended with an exciting fourth period.
Saints Score First
On a gloomy day at "The Mistake on the Lake," the first quarter devolved into a kicking con­test. Cleveland got an opportunity when Saints HB George Rogers dropped the ball without being tackled. LB Chip Banks scooped up the pigskin and lateraled to CB Frank Minnifield, who ran to the Saints 16. But a holding penalty and three incomplete passes by southpaw QB Paul McDonald brought on Matt Bahr, who missed a 34y field goal attempt.
After a scoreless first quarter the Browns finally made their initial first down with 8:10 remaining in the second quarter.
The Saints finally broke the scoring ice on a 2y pass from QB Richard Todd to RB Hokie Gajan to end an 11-play, 80y drive. Todd took the snap and rolled right as Hokie slipped out to the right untouchded. Saints 7 Browns 0
Browns Tie Score
Cleveland came right back with a 73y march that featured the running of Mike Pruitt. The final 5y were covered by a pass from McDonald to WR Ozzie Newsome. Saints 7 Browns 7
Saints Retake Lead
The Saints regained the lead on Morten Andersen 26y field goal as time expired in the first half. Saints 10 Browns 7
Browns Go Back in Front
Cleveland took the second half kickoff and ate up 8 1/2 minutes covering 88y for the go-ahead touchdown. Most of the yardage was gained on McDonald passes, including the final 6y on his touchdown pass to Newsome. Browns 14 Saints 10

Ozzie Newsome catches TD pass.
Andersen Cuts Lead to One
A light rain began falling in the final quarter.
With the Saints playing third-and-one on the Cleveland 39, the Browns threw Earl Camp­bell for a yard loss, then stopped Gajan for no gain to take over on downs.
Browns HB Boyce Green ran the ball four straight downs for a total of 19y. But the drive stalled when McDonald fumbled on third down. So Steve Cox punted to the New Orleans 5 with 5:57 remaining.
Down 14-10, the Saints offense finally came alive. Gajan gained 4y over right tackle. Then he swept the right side and got 31 more. That was an example of why the 10th round pick from LSU was in the game at clutch time while the two Heisman Trophy winners, George Rogers and Earl Campbell, watched from the sideline.
"Like all the other runs I've made this year that have gone for long gainers, I wasn't touch­ed," said Gajan.
"I got downfield and did break one tackle and got to the sideline. It was just a misdirection play. And I'll tell you what, all five of our offensive linemen did a great job. When I came out there, everything on the right hand side of the line was caved down. I think it was Tyrone (Young) at the wide receiver who gave me a good block because the cornerback was never in the play. Heck, other than that, we were just trying to make a few first downs and get some momentum going."
"He's incredible. I wish we had a whole bunch more like him," said exhausted Saints owner John Mecom after the game. "I'm proud as hell of him."
Todd then threw for 47y to 6'6" WR Tyrone Young, who beat 5'8" CB Frank Minnefield. That gave Young 101y on four receptions, all against Minnefield, whom the Saints targeted all afternoon.
But the drive bogged down at the Browns' three. Faced with fourth-and-2 with 3:09 left, Coach Bum Phillips sent in Andersen, who was good from 21y. Browns 14 Saints 13
"We had a little difficulty making the short yardage plays," said Phillips, "because they put five big linemen in there. I realized that it was a chance, but if we went for it and didn't make it, then if we held them, we still had to make a touchdown. I felt like if we could get the field goal, we'd get them to play conservative. All we had to do was hold 'em and get a field goal."

L: Earl Campbell runs. R: Newsome catches another pass. R: Richard Todd runs.
Penalty Prevents Browns from Clinching Victory
The Browns almost canceled Bum's strategy. McDonald completed a 15y pass to Bren­nan, and a roughing the passer penalty on Jim Kovach put the ball at midfield with just over two minutes left. That forced to Saints to use their remaining timeouts.
A crucial play came with the Browns facing third-and-six at the Saints 45 with two minutes remaining. McDonald correctly read a Saints blitz and completed a 40y pass to rookie WR Brian Brennan, who made a diving catch at the five despite tight coverage by CB Johnnie Poe. But the play was called back because RT Bill Contz was caught holding LB Rickey Jackson.
Denied a chance to run out the clock, the Browns complained that the flag was late coming.
"I was running down the field to congratulate Brian when they called the bleeping penalty," said LT Doug Dieken. "It was late and unjustified."
Bum Phillips had a different viewpoint. "If (Contz) don't tackle our guy, they'd never get the pass off."
Jackson said, "I had been asking for that call all day. He (Contz) was reaching out and grabbing me after I beat him. I finally got the call at the end. I thanked the ref for it."
So did Poe, who faced being the goat for allowing the completion. He said he felt "nothing but jubilation."
Faced with third-and-16 after the penalty, the Browns went conservative, running up the middle for 6y. They then took a delay-of-the-game penalty before punting.
Todd Leads Winning Drive
The penalty allowed the Saints to get the football at their 23 after the punt with 0:59 on the clock and no timeouts. Todd entered the hud­dle clapping his hands.
"God, was Richard cool today," said T Stan Brock. "He never got shook. He just called the plays and said we were going to do it. It's the most confident I've ever seen him in the hud­dle."
Todd started by firing a strike to WR Lindsey Scott, who broke across the middle under­neath the Browns prevent defense. The play gained 36y to the Cleveland 41. The last 12y came after Scott broke an attempted tackle by the safety.
After tossing to Gajan for 5y to the 36, Todd threw the ball away to kill the clock with six seconds left.
"After that clock play, I told Kelvin (Clark), 'It's over,'" said Brock. "He said, 'But Morten's still got to kick it.'
Brock said, "Bleep, no problem."
The holder, Guido Merkens, reminded Morten as they headed to huddle that they had been waiting all season for the chance to kick a winning field goal. But Andersen didn't seem to hear.
"He goes into a craze," Merkens said. "When a kick's good, I'll know way before he does. He'll look and look and look. I guess he wants to make sure. Then he goes into that Danish dance."
Andersen nailed the 53-yarder as the clock ran out, and the Saints started singing in the rain.
McDonald: "I felt there was no way he would make it. It was over 50y. It had started raining. There's always a slight breeze at that end of the field. And Richard (Todd) had wasted about 15 seconds just before that."
Andersen's winning kick would have been good from 60y despite awful conditions. It was the 20th straight field made against the Browns, who had lost five straight by a total of 14 points.
Times-Picayune sports editor Bob Roesler called the winning kick "the most dramatic Saints field goal since Tom Dempsey kicked his 63-yarder in 1969."
Phillips on Todd's performance: "In the clutch, he really threw the ball well. He ran the team well."
Offensive coordinator King Hill on Todd: "He showed a lot of composure to get us into position to win. I hope this is a catapult for both he and the team."
Todd gave a lot of the credit to Hill's game plan. "We had a helluva game plan. Plus he sent in some good plays in some key situations. ... I know I can play better than I've been playing, and I've never lost confidence in myself. I'm glad I showed something today."
Browns K Matt Bahr took the blame for the loss. "I was the difference. I let myself down, but more importantly I let the team down. I'd have given anything to see them go through. I don't have any excuses."
Schottenheimer: "I expect him (Bahr) to make those kicks. ... Errors, errors. Damn it. We're going to quit making them."