A win is a win, right? 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: Cameron Jordan
2016 Pro-Bowl Snub Cameron Jordan should be a lock for this year’s Pro Bowl. He has had another solid year, and capped off one of his best performances of his career against the Lions. He finished with 5 total tackles, 2 sacks, 3 passes defended, 1 interception, and a defensive touchdown. The man did it all.
Taking a page straight out of 2016, the Saints looked borderline inept at Special Teams tackling, allowing a critical punt return for a touchdown late in the game. Early in the first quarter, after Ken Crawley whiffed on a tackle at the sticks on Golden Tate, Raphael Bush one-upped him by trying to go for a strip instead of a tackle. This led to Tate walking (rather: jumping) into the endzone for an early TD. The Saints have to do a better job of wrapping up for the tackle.
Up: Saints Defense
The Saints defense gave up a lot of yards in this game, but made big plays when it mattered most. They scored three defensive touchdowns on five turnovers, keeping the Saints in the game and securing the win on a day when the offense just wasn’t clicking. Which brings us to...
Down: Offense (play-calling)
The Saints play-calling on offense, specifically on third-down, was absolutely terrible in the second half of this game. I remember watching this game in the third quarter, and I couldn’t remember many pass attempts that went to receivers already beyond the first-down marker. Everything was too conservative. The Saints called predictable running plays, threw the ball short of the chains, and ended up punting back to the Lions to give them a chance to try to get back in the game.
At least the defense stepped up this week. Let’s see how long this lasts.