Saints use trick play to add a little insult to their victory over Rams

Tim Hightower
Saints running back Tim Hightower catches a 50-yard touchdown pass from wide receiver Willie Snead in the fourth quarter Sunday.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

The Rams already were embarrassed Sunday when the New Orleans Saints added a final blow.

Early in the fourth quarter of the Rams’ 49-21 loss at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, Saints quarterback Drew Brees dropped back and threw a lateral to his left to receiver Willie Snead, who had backpedaled from the line of scrimmage. Snead caught the ball and then calmly lofted a pass toward the right sideline to wide-open running back Tim Hightower.

Hightower hauled in the pass and then juked Rams safety Maurice Alexander on the way to the end zone for a 50-yard scoring play.

“There’s probably only one out of 10 times I’m not going to make that tackle,” Alexander said.


The touchdown completed the Saints’ victory.

“There are tendencies and it had been installed earlier in the week and just coming up at the right time,” Saints Coach Sean Payton said when asked about the play call.

That the play came with New Orleans holding a 21-point lead did not seem to anger the Rams, but it did raise the question of whether Payton signed off on the play to embarrass Rams defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.

Williams coached with Payton with the Saints from 2009 to 2011. They won a Super Bowl together but also received suspensions in the aftermath of the infamous Bountygate scandal.


Rams coordinators are not available to the media after games.

“I do not take that personal,” Rams Coach Jeff Fisher said when asked about the play coming with the Saints holding such a commanding lead. “That is what they chose to call. They did it.

“I fully expected Sean to get 56 [points] on us today on that last drive.”

Safety T.J. McDonald did not consider the Saints might be trying to rub it in.

“We don’t see it as that,” he said. “We accept the challenge and, whenever we’re on the field, we have to stop them.”

Said defensive lineman Michael Brockers: “It was good offense. They want to score points. They’re home. We just have to be prepared for everything.”

Milestone game

Rams receiver Kenny Britt caught five passes for 52 yards and a touchdown.


Britt, an eight-year pro, increased his career-best receptions total to 54 and also established a career best for yards receiving. He has 788 yards, eclipsing the 775 he amassed in 2014, his first season with the Rams.

Britt’s touchdown came in the second quarter after Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald sacked Brees and forced a fumble. Quarterback Jared Goff connected from the six-yard line for Britt’s fourth touchdown of the season.

Up and coming

Saints rookie receiver Michael Thomas, who played at Woodland Hills Taft High, caught nine passes for 108 yards and scored on touchdown pass plays of six and 21 yards.

The 6-foot-3, 212-pound Thomas was drafted in the second round from Ohio State. He has 65 receptions for 789 yards and seven touchdowns.

“He is pretty good after the catch, so he made a few guys miss, had some hidden yardage and he is physical when he gets the ball,” Payton said. “He is a tough guy to tackle. He came up with some big plays.”


Twitter: @LATimesklein