In what was another roller-coaster of a game with plenty of ups and downs along the way, here are a couple that stood out.
Up: Michael Thomas
Michael Thomas is on pace to have an incredible rookie season. He found the end zone for the fourth consecutive game and had his first career 100-yard receiving game.
Yes, he made a bone-headed play to end regulation, trying for a few extra yards instead of getting out of bounds, but he’s still only a rookie. As he continues to grow, those mental mistakes should become less and less. In the mean time, he is becoming one of Drew Brees’s most favorite and reliable targets, both for moving the chains and for the big home-run play.
The Saints constantly shot themselves in the leg the entire game with penalties. I am not making excuses for Nick Fairley’s penalty near the end of the game, but I am not going to pour blame on him either considering the tragedy he and his family is going through.
That being said, the constant false starts, on top of the offensive pass interference, holding, and other flags gave too many extra yards to the Chiefs offense and too many holes for the Saints offense to handle.
As Head Coach Sean Payton said, this team is not good enough to overcome penalties like this. The Saints will need to clean it up moving forward if they want any chance of making a run.
Up: Thomas Morstead
Please don’t think the pick of Thomas Morstead here as the second “Up” is me stretching to find a bright spot. That’s not the case. Drew Brees, Nate Stupar, Willie Snead and others all had themselves a good game against the Chiefs. Morstead was just incredible.
Angling the ball away from the Chiefs’s dangerous return man, getting height and distance on punts to help flip the field. Numerous punts were downed (or out of bounds) within the twenty, with one downed inside the ten.
“Legatron” had himself a great game.
Down: OLine injuries
Saints Left Tackle Terron Armstead returned to action this week, only to seemingly reinjure his knee during the game. He was able to return later in the game, but the same could not be said for Senio Kelemente. In what was already a thin group, the Saints could not afford any more injuries anywhere on the offensive line.
The less often Tony Hills is forced to play in the game, the better. This team just needs to get healthy in a hurry - on the offensive line and everywhere.