John DeShazier | Senior Writer - NewOrleansSaints.com
There are finishing kicks, and there’s what the New Orleans Saints have done to opponents so far in the fourth quarter of 2018.
The Saints (5-1) have been the NFL’s most potent closing team, and it hasn’t mattered who has been the opponent, and what has been the venue. From Tampa Bay in the season opener to Baltimore in Week 7, from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome to Mercedes-Benz Stadium, against defenses with middling reputations or those considered the best in the league, New Orleans has fielded every challenge and left the competition shredded in the final 15 minutes.
The Saints average a league-best 13.7 points in the fourth quarter, including 17 in Sunday’s 24-23 victory against Baltimore at M&T Bank Stadium, against a defense that hadn’t allowed a single point in the second half in its previous six games. Only nine NFL teams average more than 13.7 points in the second half.
And the Saints have operated with an astounding level of efficiency.
On 19 fourth-quarter possessions this season, the Saints have scored 10 touchdowns and kicked three field goals. They’ve had more possessions that concluded with kneel-downs (five) than with punts (one) and even then, that bears further explanation. ...
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