LANDOVER, Md. -- Jameis Winston threw the longest pass of his career for a 72-yard touchdown, turned the ball over twice, then completed a 48-yard Hail Mary touchdown pass -- all in the first half of Sunday's game at Washington.
Winston's Hail Mary was caught by receiver Marquez Callaway in the end zone with no time left on the clock in the first half for a 20-13 lead. Callaway timed his leap perfectly to make a clean catch in the middle of a sea of bodies in the end zone.
Although the Saints practice Hail Marys every week, Callaway said this was the first time he actually caught one.
Winston is throwing to a spot in those situations -- not to a specific receiver. Normally, Callaway's job is to be on the backside of the throw, but he got to the end zone first since other receivers were jammed at the line.
"First one down there jump, and everyone else plays off you," said Callway, who admitted that he might have broken the rules once he saw the ball tracking toward him. "In the heat of the game, if I see the ball, I'm gonna attack it. I don't care if I'm jumping over my teammate, the defender. And if we miss it, it's just, 'We'll get 'em next time,' and I can get yelled at by [Saints coach] Sean Payton."
Washington, meanwhile, admitted to being surprised by the choice of a Hail Mary throw with eight seconds remaining in the first half and New Orleans at Washington's 49-yard line. The defense was anticipating a shorter throw to set up a field goal instead.
"We was thinking field goal, not Hail Mary," safety Landon Collins said. "When the ball went up in the air, we wasn't prepared for that one."
Winston also completed the 72-yard TD pass to receiver Deonte Harris in the first quarter, giving him 10 TD passes on the season. But he threw his third interception of the season on New Orleans' opening drive and lost a fumble on a sack later in the first quarter -- a classic example of the big-play extremes that Winston offers as a quarterback.
In the first half today, Winston had two passing TDs of at least 40 yards, an interception and a fumble lost. The only quarterback to have all of those in a single half of a game since 2000 was Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, who did that in the second half against the Seahawks in 2020 Week 3.
The Saints (2-2) ranked 32nd in passing attempts heading into Sunday's game and spent the whole week fielding questions about whether coach Sean Payton trusted Winston and his receivers enough to open up New Orleans' passing offense. In response, the Saints attempted passes on their first five plays Sunday, including the interception. Winston was 8 of 16 for 189 yards at the half.