There are certain general rules in football that always seem to hold true: Defense wins championships. Win the turnover battle and you’ll win. And, when playing the Cincinnati Bengals, just be patient -- they’ll find a way to lose.
Rule No. 3 came in very handy for the New Orleans Saints on Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium. Trailing the Bengals 30-27, the Saints faced a fourth-and-2 deep inside Cincinnati territory. The easy decision would have been to kick the field goal, tie the game and take your chances in overtime.
But, remember, it’s the Bengals. Sean Payton kept his offense on the field and quarterback Drew Brees began directing guys in motion and barking out snap counts. It should have been obvious to anyone in the stadium or watching on television that the Saints were trying to draw the Bengals offside.
And, of course, the Bengals fell for it. Defensive tackle Pat Sims jumped into the neutral zone and drew a flag. That gave the Saints a first down.
On the very next play, Brees threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to Marques Colston to give the Saints the win.