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Saints use run game to rally past Browns in high winds

Dec 24, 2022; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara (41) runs the ball against the Cleveland Browns during the second quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

Alvin Kamara and Taysom Hill each ran for a touchdown and the visiting New Orleans Saints shut out the Cleveland Browns in the second half of a 17-10 victory Sunday.

Neither team passed the ball effectively as the game was played in single-digit temperatures with winds gusting to about 30 miles per hour.

Hill and Kamara scored their touchdowns in the third quarter as the Saints (6-9) held the Browns (6-9) to 33 yards in the quarter.

Andy Dalton passed for 92 yards with an interception for New Orleans. Deshaun Watson passed for 135 yards with an interception and rushed for Cleveland’s only touchdown.

Watson, making his fourth start of the season after serving an 11-game suspension for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy, drove the Browns to the Saints’ 15-yard line in the final minute but on fourth down was sacked by Carl Granderson.

The Saints drove 67 yards in nine plays on the first possession of the third quarter, tying the score at 10 on Hill’s 8-yard run.

After an exchange of punts Daniel Sorensen intercepted Watson at the New Orleans 49 and returned to the Cleveland 15. Four plays later, Kamara ran 4 yards for a touchdown that gave the Saints their first lead, which held up the rest of the way.

Each team had a temporary field-position advantage during a scoreless first quarter. On their second possession, the Browns reached the Saints’ 43 before punting.

New Orleans reached the Cleveland 45 before Dalton’s pass bounced off the hands of Juwan Johnson and into the hands of safety Grant Delpit, who returned it 40 yards to the Saints 30.

Five plays later, on the first play of the second quarter, Watson ran 12 yards for a touchdown.

Cleveland drove 60 yards in 17 plays and Cade York kicked a 30-yard field goal to increase the lead with 4:07 left in the half.

Wil Lutz kicked a 23-yard field goal as time expired to put New Orleans within 10-3 at halftime.

–Field Level Media