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2 Ups and 2 Downs From Yesterday’s Win Against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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The Saints played a good game, but there’s still room for improvement.

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

How in the world was Mike Evans not ejected? 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.

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Up: Alvin Kamara

Yes, he had an early fumble in the game, but he also had an incredible game, scoring twice (one on the ground and one in the air) and almost single-handily matching the entire Tampa Bay offense’s yardage. He showed balance and patience in the run game while also showing how slippery of a runner he can be in space. Mark Ingram had a fine day, but it was Kamara that was the premiered Running Back for the Saints this week.

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Down: Special Teams

A missed field goal. A blocked extra point. Two muffed punt. One muffed punt resulted in a turnover, leading to Tampa Bay’s only touchdown on the game. The Saints Special Teams had their own positive play, scoring the team’s first touchdown on the day on a blocked punt. The ensuing extra point was blocked, so the Saints scored 6 points off special teams but gave Tampa Bay back 7 points as a result of the muffed punt (because they made their extra point). We’ve still got a lot of work to do here.

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Up: #Brotherhood

Drew Brees has talked about “brotherhood” all season long.

And in a game where the special teams give away points to the opposition, the rest of the team stepped up to secure the win. And when Mike Evans decided to throw punches on top of Saints rookie Marshon Lattimore, it was one of Lattimore’s “brothers,” De’Vante Harris, who came in to make the save. This team, on offense, on defense, and even on special teams, is playing for each other. They’ve got each other’s backs.

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Down: Injuries

News came out recently that Delvin Breaux suffered a setback in recovery and is still at least three more weeks away. And now, in this game, the Saints lost both Kenny Vaccaro and Terron Armstead to injury. We can all just hope that neither is too serious.