Dolphins dominate Saints on ‘MNF’ for seventh-straight win

NEW ORLEANS — Rookie sensation Jaylen Waddle returned from the COVID-19 list to catch 10 passes for 92 yards and touchdown, and the Miami Dolphins beat the short-handed New Orleans Saints 20-3 on Monday night, becoming the first NFL team to win seven straight games after losing seven in a row.

Nik Needham intercepted Saints rookie quarterback Ian Book and returned it 28 yards for a touchdown to help to help Miami become one of four 8-7 teams — along with Baltimore, the Los Angeles Chargers and Las Vegas — in contention for one of the final playoff spots in the AFC.

Book started for the Saints (7-8) because of a COVID-19 outbreak that took 16 players off the active roster, including starting QB Taysom Hill and veteran backup Trevor Siemian.

With the Saints’ offensive line missing three starters, including both tackles, Book completed 12 of 20 passes for 135 yards, was sacked eight times and was intercepted twice.

Jaylen Waddle celebrates during the Dolphins’ 20-3 win over the Saints on Monday Night Football.
AP

The Saints’ defense helped keep the game within reach until Waddle scored on a 1-yard shovel pass from Tua Tagovailoa to make it 17-3 with 5:10 left in the third quarter.

Tagovailoa, who entered the game with an NFL best 69.9% completion rate, connected on 19 of 26 passes (73.1%) for 198 yards and the short TD. He also was intercepted by Marshon Lattimore.