The Saints were docked 15 seconds due to a referee miscommunication on their final drive of the first half. 

By Michael Shapiro
September 10, 2019

The Saints escaped their season opener with a 30-28 win over the Texans on Monday night and overcame a key officiating error at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in the process. 

Officials for the Monday night contest botched the game clock in the final minute of the first half when they docked the Saints 15 seconds as they drove down the field against Houston. The game clock should have dipped from 41 to 31 seconds after a ten-second runoff, but officials set the initial clock at 26 seconds remaining in the half before the ten-second runoff.

New Orleans drove into Houston territory despite the officiating error but closed the first half with a missed 56-yard field goal from kicker Will Lutz. Perhaps the Saints would have gained additional yards barring the mishandled runoff, setting up an easier field goal from Lutz.

"Listen, that can't happen. I mean, that's a game-changer, right?" Saints quarterback Drew Brees said after the game. "We end up having to kick a [56-yarder] or whatever it was. If we had 15 more seconds, are you kidding me? We're gonna get closer."

Monday's officiating error was the second to plague the Saints in their last two games. New Orleans fell victim to a missed pass interference call in the 2018 NFC Championship, setting off a wave of controversy throughout the offseason. 

New Orleans still eeked out a victory on Monday despite the miscue to end the half. The Saints defeated Houston 30-28 to start the season to 1–0 prior to a Week 2 battle at the Rams on Sept. 15.

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HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)