Wil Lutz booted a field goal with 21 seconds reaming to go up 3. Zane Gonzalez was given the opportunity to kick his own, but missed it giving the Saints a 21-18 win. Saints played an ugly game but were bailed out by Zane Gonzales going 2/4 on FGs and 0/2 on XPs. The offense looked stagnant and the running game was nonexistent outside of Kamara. In recent years, the Saints have been able to kill teams with versatility, but we saw Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara touch the ball on 53% of the offenses plays. Mark Ingrams is presence is surely being missed as the backup RBs were only able to pick up a combined 17 yards on 9 attempts. The offensive line played inconsistent throughout the game, allowing Brees to get sacked 3 times. Fumbling continues to be an issue as well, losing the ball 4 times in just 2 games.
The defense certainly looked better from an embarrassing week 1 performance. A.J. Klein finally found his stride and lead the team in tackles with 9. The Linebacker corp isn’t exactly where you want them to be but Demario Davis and Manti Te’o both stood out in the run game. We also saw a nice improvement to the defensive line. Marcus Davenport was all over the ball in run situations, and Jordan and Okafor caused problems for Tyrod Taylor on passing downs. The defense would still like too see improvements in what was seen as a talented defense back group. Lattimore seems to lost a step and Crawley continues to get beat on deep balls. Patrick Robinson seems to be the only player who is giving the secondary consistent play. Marcus Williams came up with a game saving interception in the second half, which was the defenses first turnover of the season.
A win is a win, so let’s look at the positives. Not starting off 0-2 for the first time since 2014 is obviously a good thing. Outside of two fumbles, Michael Thomas is making a legitimate case as the best WR in the league. Thomas’ 28 receptions is the most by any player through two weeks of a season in the leagues history. Alvin Kamara refined his running style to make himself faster and it’s been showing. Kamara’s incredible trio of speed, power, and balance has allowed him to successfully take the bulk of carries while Ingram is out. Finally, Terron Armstead did a great job lining up against Myles Garrett. While the line had ups and downs, Armstead seemed to be a conisistent piece. It’s not time to panic about either side of the ball yet, the Saints should see a huge increase in productivity when Mark Ingram returns. Cameron Meredith should return soon as well and will add another weapon in the slot for this offense. For some reason the offense and defense can’t seem to click at the same time, but with minor changes, we could see the team we’ve been hoping for all off-season.
#SAINTSNEWS #SAINTS #ASC