The New Orleans Saints put on a high octane offensive performance, pushing the game into overtime and scoring a touchdown without first giving the Falcons a chance. It was an intense game, one full of drama and a shootout to the end, no team took more then a 7 point lead, and by the end the defenses couldn’t hold up.
In case you are wondering, Michael Thomas continued his hot streak of catching every ball that comes his way, nabbing all ten of his targets. Let’s look at the things we noticed during the game yesterday.
The Receivers are Really Good
Cameron Meredith debuted in a Saints uniform yesterday, at it really couldn’t have gone any better. Meredith had struggled the past couple seasons as a Chicago Bear. His first catch as a Saint went for an eleven yard score. While he didn’t see another target the rest of the game, his presence, combined with shared time with Austin Carr and his counterparts Michael Thomas and Ted Ginn, opened the field for the rest of the receivers.
Thomas caught 10 passes for 129 yards, becoming the NFL record holder for receptions through the first three games. Ginn caught 3 passes for 12 yards and a strike. His speed down the field opened up a lot of opportunities from Alvin Kamara.
How can they keep Alvin Kamara on the field?
Kamara himself didn’t have a shabby day either. He carried the ball 16 times for 66 yards, just over 4 yards per carry. He caught 15 of his 20 targets for 124 yards.
Yep. Kamara was targeted 20 times in the passing game and was lethal in open space, created by the presence of Meredith and the other receivers down the field. He was more then incredible. Check out the highlight tape below.
New video by NFL: Alvin Kamara’s 31 Touches for 190 Total Yards vs. Atlanta https://t.co/IsjTpEWu9v
— Gridiron Stuff (@Gridiron_Stuff) September 23, 2018
How do you take the man off of the field?
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The Pass Rush is getting better
Cameron Jordan is primed for a big year. He now has 4 sacks through the last two games, thanks to two more he added yesterday. He is single-handedly making this team’s pass rush better. Marcus Davenport finally got to the quarterback too, adding a third sack to the mix. He looked much improved and feasted on the quarterback as the game went on.
Davenports snap counts went up this week, going from 23 (37%) last week to 34 (50%) of the snaps this week. The coaches like him so far, and now he’s seeing more time on the field. He may be pushing Alex Okafor for a job by the end of the season.
The Secondary will be a weakness all season long
This one is easy to observe. The secondary truly looks weak. This week, they started PJ Williams over Ken Crawley to try to provide more consistency, and that’s when rookie wide receiver Calvin Ridley went off for the hat trick for 3 touchdowns. Crawley was quickly inserted back into the game and saw 42 snaps to Williams 50.
Marcus Lattimore was better this week, so that’s an encouraging sign for Saints fans. If the front six can get better, you can expect this Saints defense to play better into the season. We have seen a progression the last three weeks and although they let up 37 points, they are still trending up.
The Saints pulled out a must need win and moved to 2-1, and now sit in 2nd place behind the 2-0 Buccaneers, who will be playing tonight. The Saints have positioned themselves better for the rest of the year, so now it’s looking on to next weeks game, at home, against the New York Giants.
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