Well that was refreshing. It was the first time in a while I felt like the Saints were able to coast to a victory. Your typical football game is a roller-coaster of emotions with plenty of ups and downs along the way, so here are a couple that stood out.
Up: Saints defense plays complete game
Yes, the Los Angeles Rams’ offense is not the 2011 Saints offense, but still. The Saints defense has a knack for making opposing teams, even mediocre (or less-than-mediocre - shout out to Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers) look good. This game started off looking to be no different.
Then the defense showed up. They were generating constant pressure on Rams rookie QB Jared Goff, forcing poor throws and getting sacks. They were able to get off the field on third downs and even created a couple of turnovers. Overall, a great showing by this (finally healthy) Saints defense.
Up: Michael Thomas
After a forgettable patch that including a game with multiple fumbles and then games with under 50 receiving yards, Michael Thomas was able to bounce back in a big way. He was a reliable target for Drew Brees all game long and found the endzone, shuffling and dragging a defender with him. It should be noted that Brandin Cooks was held completely silent this game. The Rams defense could have been targeting Cooks, and Michael Thomas is showing that he is not to be forgotten.
Up: Saints Running Game
The Saints current RB duo of Mark Ingram and Tim Hightower had a great game. Ingram finished the game with 160 total yards and two TDs, and Hightower added on another 100+ yards himself with a TD.
Side note: half of Hightower’s yards came on a TD pass from Saints WR Willie Snead. “Suck it, Gregg Williams” - Sean Payton.
Down: Terron Armstead
As great as Terron Armstead is (or can be), he has just not been able to stay healthy this year. After signing a hefty contract extension that locked the young lineman up in New Orleans for several years, he has sadly not been able to live up to the dollars thrown his way.
We wish Terron a speedy recovery in his most recent injury flare-up, but it’s a good game when a (hopefully not-serious) injury is one of the lone blemishes on the day.