Dolphins vs.  Saints - Game Report - December 27, 2021

NEW ORLEANS – NEW ORLEANS (AP) – Rookie sensation Jaylen Waddle returned from the COVID-19 list, catching 10 passes for 92 yards and a touchdown, and the Dolphins crushed the decimated Saints on Monday, 20-3. New Orleans in what was Miami’s seventh straight win after losing seven in a row.

Nik Needham intercepted a pass to rookie quarterback Ian Book and returned it 28 yards for a touchdown, helping Miami become one of four teams in the league at 8-7 – along with Baltimore, the Los Chargers. Angels and Las Vegas – in the fight for one of the last places in the American Conference to go to the playoffs.

Book started as a starter for the Saints (7-8) as an outbreak of COVID-19 infections sent 16 players from the active roster to the reserve list, including starting quarterback Taysom Hill and Trevor Siemian, his veteran backup.

With the Saints’ offensive line down three starters, including two tackles, Book completed 12 of 20 passes for 135 yards, was sacked eight times behind the line of scrimmage and suffered two interceptions.

The Saints defense helped keep the game level until Waddle scored on a one-yard scoop pass from Tua Tagovailoa to make it 17-3 with 5:10 left in the third quarter.

Tagovailoa, who entered the game with the best completion percentage in the NFL at 69.9%, completed 19 of 26 passes (73.1%) for 198 yards and his touchdown delivery. He also suffered an interception at the hands of Marshon Lattimore.