NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Michael Thomas caught a late 72-yard touchdown reception and then celebrated with a cellphone in a throwback to another famous New Orleans play, and the streaking Saints handed the Los Angeles Rams their first loss of the season with a 45-35 win on Sunday.
Drew Brees passed for 346 yards and four touchdowns in New Orleans’ seventh straight win, and Thomas finished with a club-record 211 yards receiving. But what happened after their last connection of the day really stole the show in a wild shootout between two of the NFL’s best offenses.
Thomas’ long TD came on a pivotal third-down play with about four minutes to go, when the Rams seemed to expect the Saints to run a play closer to the first-down marker. Thomas ran free behind Marcus Peters, caught Brees’ long throw virtually in stride and ran straight to the goal post, where he got out an old-school flip phone — reminiscent of Joe Horn’s Sunday night TD celebration in 2003.
Like Horn, Thomas was penalized, but the Rams never threatened after that.
P.J. Williams, credited with causing two turnovers in New Orleans’ previous victory at Minnesota, broke up a fourth-down pass intended for Brandin Cooks, virtually sealing the result. The former Saints receiver, who caught six passes for 114 yards and a TD, fell to his knees in frustration.
Thomas, who caught 12 passes, eclipsed Wes Chandler’s club record of 205 yards receiving against Atlanta in 1979.
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