NEW ORLEANS – Alvin Kamara climbed into the Superdome stands, stood in the first row with his arms folded and soaked in the adulation of fans who were relishing their decision to stick around after all had looked lost.
The rookie's celebration of his 18-yard touchdown reception had an air of presumption, given New Orleans still needed a two-point conversion to erase what had been a 15-point deficit when Washington scored with 5:58 left in regulation. Then again, the Saints' confidence was understandable; they haven't lost in more than two months.
Kamara climbed back down in time to take a pitch into the end zone for the needed conversion, and the Saints won their eighth game in a row when Wil Lutz's 28-yard field goal capped a 34-31 overtime victory.
"We just kind of hung in there. Guys believed," said Saints coach Sean Payton, whose mind seemed to be racing as he labored to recall details of the frenzied final stretch. "There were a lot of things happening in a short period of time."
Drew Brees passed for 385 yards and two touchdowns, going 11-of-11 for 164 yards and his only two touchdowns on New Orleans' final two possessions of regulation. His first TD went to tight end Josh Hill from 3 yards out with 2:53 to go and the last to Kamara with 1:05 left.
"I tip my hat to Brees. That's what he does. That's what great quarterbacks do. But at the end of the day, we've got to make plays," said Redskins safety D.J. Swearinger, who had a first-quarter interception.
The unlikely comeback made New Orleans the first team since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger to win eight in a row after starting 0-2.
"We haven't encountered a game like this in a while, and it was great to watch the team rally," Brees said.
The Saints (8-2) set up their final drive by stopping Samaje Perine on third-and-1 at the two-minute warning when a first down would have enabled Washington (4-6) to run out the clock.
Washington moved into winning field-goal range in the final minute of regulation, only to be pushed back by a fluky grounding penalty and by a sack.
The Redskins received the ball first in overtime, but the Saints' hobbled defense, which gave up more yards than in any game during its winning streak, forced a quick punt thanks in part to Cameron Jordan's sack.
"We had a surplus of emotion and a surplus of confidence," Jordan said. "That was the difference-maker."