Week 9 is underway across the NFL, and the New Orleans Saints are starting to gain more respect across the league with their 5-2 record. The team currently sits at No. 3 in the NFC Playoff Standings behind Philadelphia and Minnesota. Interestingly enough, if things started today, the Saints would host the Panthers. While we’re not totally focused on the playoffs like the Chiefs are, they need to take care of business against the Buccaneers on Sunday.
Here’s some of the biggest black and gold tidbits and stories from the week.
- The Saints turned 51 years old on Nov. 1st, NFL.com put out a pretty cool now and then type of look.
- Black jerseys and black pants for Sunday again.
- For the second time this year, cornerback Marshon Lattimore took down Pepsi’s NFL Rookie of the Week. He’s also on NFL.com’s midseason All-Pro team. Lattimore is also our personal vote for the team’s midseason MVP.
- The team put out this statement after People’s Health Champion Award Mr. Wells chose not to publicly receive his award. Simply put, he no longer supports the NFL.
- A.J. Klein was chosen at the team’s Salute to Service Nominee.
- Kicker Wil Lutz did not get fined for his horsecollar tackle against the Bears.
- Mark Ingram has the lowest stuff percentage of all running backs, at 13 percent.
- Kenny Vaccaro appeared on NFL Total Access.
- Larry Warford is the only player ruled out of action on Sunday.
Another crazy Marshon Lattimore stat. He has more INT return yards this year (52), than yards given up in man coverage (48). Mind boggling.— Brett Kollmann (@BrettKollmann) November 1, 2017
Marshon Lattimore, Ken Crawley and Breaux all deserve to play. Theoretically, that shouldn't be a problem. With how often New Orleans is in nickel packages, three jobs exist, but there isn't an obvious answer on who will fill the slot.
It’s possible one of those players will claim the job. It’s also possible just two cornerbacks will be on the field on early downs.
In an ideal world, once Breaux is fully healthy and in shape — a process that could take time — New Orleans will be able to move one of its cornerbacks to the slot. It sounds simple. All three players can cover, and that would then free up Kenny Vaccaro to move to strong safety, where he’s free to make plays in the box as he did last week against the Chicago Bears.
I think many feel that Crawley will take a back seat to Breaux, but the Saints will also ease him back into action. It’s worth mentioning that there is no timetable for his return. It’s a particularly good problem to have with some actual depth at cornerback. I’m a firm believer that you need to stick with the hot hand, and if that’s still Crawley - play him. What Dennis Allen’s defense is doing is working for the most part right now. Don’t fix what isn’t broken?
If the New Orleans Saints decide to move on from Drew Brees after the 2017 season, landing in the Valley of the Sun would be a perfect fit. Brees is far more mobile on his worst day than Palmer has ever been; he's shown that even at age 38, he still has the arm to make any throw; and there are similarities between Arians' system and what Brees has run under Sean Payton over the last decade.
For what it’s worth, which seems like much of nothing at this point, they pair Drew Brees to the Cardinals, Kenny Vaccaro to the Texans, Alex Okafor to the Titans, and the Saints looking at Paul Richardson. One would believe Brees and Vaccaro want to remain in New Orleans, but Okafor could be on his way for a bigger pay day.
As we hit the midway mark of the 2017 NFL season, the Saints (5-2) have the league's most impressive rookie class thus far. They lead the league in rookie starts (rookies have combined to start a total of 25 games) and they are getting outstanding play/production from several of their selections. Now, it's still very early in the careers of these players. It's often said a draft class shouldn't really be judged until three seasons into the players' careers. However, the early returns for the Saints are very positive. Here's a look at the New Orleans rookies that have stood out the most.
Alvin Kamara was missing from the original list, because Jeremiah was mostly focused on starters. However, Saints fans got him to add in something on him. Look, when we’re at the point of getting praise for the rookie class, then I think that’s a big deal. Hats off to the scouting team and Jeff Ireland. The past two draft classes have us feeling good, to say the least.
He now has almost as many fumbles (3) as he does touchdowns (4) on the season. That could spell trouble for the veteran back, as second-stringer Alvin Kamara continues to thrive.
Kamara is a perfect fit for the Saints system, equally adept running between the tackles or running routes downfield. On a per-touch basis, he vastly outshines his counterpart
Let’s just see how things play out, but I’m pretty sure pissed off Mark Ingram will make an appearance in the Superdome this weekend. Having a true two-back attack is something that can really help the Saints in the long run. Just imagine if the passing game can really get it going.