As the sun set on the New Orleans Saints’ 27-20 victory over the Los Angeles Rams, Dennis Allen’s confusing decision to start Andy Dalton earlier in the week finally made sense.

Dalton balled out. And he saved his job in the process.

In the win, he passed for 260 yards and three touchdowns, silencing any doubt present in a signature win, improving to 4-7 on the season.

How Dalton did his damage

First, Dalton opened up the touchdown scoring with an eight-yard pass to Juwan Johnson, capping a three-minute seven-play 40-yard drive.

He followed that up with a seven-yard touchdown pass to Jarvis Landry, pulling ahead 17-14 near the start of the third quarter.

The finishing touches on what was an impressive day was a 53-yard beauty to rookie wide receiver Chris Olave at the tail end of a three-minute, five-play 68-yard drive. The impressive touchdown allowed the Saints to pull away in a game that felt in the balance from the start.

Dalton was special on Sunday. Coming in at 2-5 as a starter on the season, he needed a win to change the narrative surrounding his season. But it couldn’t have been just any win — he needed to play well in it. And he did. It just so happens that in the process, beating the Rams kept the Saints alive in the playoff hunt, while validating a confusing Allen decision earlier in the week.

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Feature image via  Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports