A win is a win and the Saints did what they needed to get one more today. Not really what we expected from the team on offense, who notched 503 total yards but only came away with two touchdowns, but the defense came through, holding Jacksonville scoreless in the second half. The defense also held the Jaguars to 4/15 (26%) on 3rd down and 0/4 (0%) on 4th down. Some or most of that defensive success, however, can be attributed to the poor play of Blaine Gabbert, whose inexperience showed.
Will Smith came away with two sacks, Roman Harper had one. Jabari Greer made a few great defensive plays and pass breakups, while Patrick Robinson nabbed his first career interception.
Following a fast 14-0 start by the Saints, courtesy of Jed Collins and Jimmy Graham touchdowns, the offense stalled for the rest of the afternoon and their only other points came from three John Kasay field goals in the second half. Kasay missed two 50+ field goal attempts.
Brees had an average day which wasn't helped by his two interceptions, the second of which wasn't his fault. The running game was effective, with 177 yards by committee. Darren Sproles was dangerous as usual in both the running, passing and return game; he had 188 all-purpose yards. Jimmy Graham continues to be a huge part of this offense and put up gaudy numbers. His line today was 10 catches for 132 yards.
The Saints advance to 3-1 as the first quarter of the season gets put in the books. I'll take it.
We'll touch on the finer points of this game tomorrow and Tuesday. Make the jump for final stats from the game. Click the picture for more from the afternoon in Jacksonville. Listen to our post-game podcast for immediate reaction, coming up at 4:30pm Central.
|Time of Pos.||36:49||22:55|
|NEW ORLEANS SAINTS|