We’re entering Week 9 of the NFL season, which means we’re at the midseason point of the year and it’s time to reflect a little. For the 5-2 New Orleans Saints, a lot of things have come together to help Sean Payton’s squad get off to a strong start in 2017, but it feels like one player has been the most important piece to the puzzle over others, and that’s rookie cornerback Marshon Lattimore.
We polled Twitter, gathered insight from the staff, and it wasn’t even close. Lattimore is the team’s midseason MVP.
I mean, why even bother throwing against him? Per the Pro Football Focus charting, it shows that quarterbacks are better off throwing a pass in the dirt than challenging Lattimore. Furthermore, they chart the Ohio State product with just a 17.2 passer rating against since Week 2. They also say that Lattimore has not allowed a reception in two weeks, recording an interception and three passes defensed in that time.
Lattimore, the team’s first round and 11th overall pick in the draft, has appeared in six games for the Saints this season. He has 27 total tackles (just 5 assisted), with two interceptions (one being for a touchdown), a forced fumble, and seven passes defended. Dennis Allen’s defense has certainly been responsible for New Orleans turning around their season, and could be a huge reason the Saints could get into the postseason. Naturally, we’ll just take it one game at a time.
Here’s thoughts from the staff:
John Sigler: Lattimore would also get my vote for team MVP. He's dictating coverage assignments by locking down his third of the field and won the Bears game himself, in my opinion. He's also a strong tackler in run support and is only going to improve with experience.
Chris Dunnells: Lattimore. He's part of the reason the Saints have been comfortable calling more blitzes, and the entire defense has taken a step forward all in some part because of him.
Ellias Williams: Marshon Lattimore has my vote. Without Lattimore, Jordan is a 6-8 sack a year kind of guy. With him, he's going for double-digits. It isn't so crazy your #11 pick transformed your fortunes. That's exactly what teams hope for in the draft, to land a player that changes the franchise's fortunes. He's doing that.
Christian Lok: I would say Cameron Jordan. He is the leader of the youngest defense in the league and helps all levels of the defense with great play and leadership. Jordan is about more than the sacks. He drives the entire front seven to give the DBs opportunities to make plays.
Deuce Windham: Lattimore might not do as well if there isn't a Cam Jordanto force a pass in less that 4 seconds, but they go hand in hand. Even the best corner guy can only cover a guy for so long.
Bob Rose: My MVP is Cam Jordan, but I thought hard about Lattimore too.
Adam Williamson: Lattimore all day baby!
Do you agree with Marshon Lattimore being the Saints midseason MVP?
This poll is closed
By the way, be sure to check out SBNation’s midseason awards for Coach of the Year, Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, League MVP, and the best football team.