The final score would seem to indicate the game was less competitive than it really was. Still, 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: Drew Brees
Make no mistake: Drew’s early ill-advised interception was bad. But even including that throw, this might have been one of Drew’s best games as a Saint all season. It won’t show up in the stat line as he finished with “only” 282 yards and two TDs (plus the aforementioned INT), but his line could have looked even better. Mark Ingram’s long run on the first Saints drive should have given Drew an early passing touchdown (more on that later). Michael Thomas had two receiving TDs called back after review, with the Saints scoring on the ground later on one of those drives. After Saints fans and the media have questioned Drew’s ability to throw the ball beyond the line of scrimmage, Brees had multiple passes 30 yards down the field that found their mark.
Where do I start?
Hau’oli Kikaha has no place as a starting Linebacker. When the game was forced to take an injury timeout after Ingram’s long run on the Saints first drive, Sean Payton had plenty of time to decide to challenge the call.
Note: Apparently Payton was unable to challenge the call as the refs blew the whistle when they thought they say Ingram go out of bounds. Credit to Fantasma17 for pointing it out to me.
Instead, the Saints saved the timeout and ended up with only three points instead of seven. Then, the Saints didn’t even go on to use that saved timeout with a minute left in the half as the Jets were looking to kick a field goal. You know your first half timeouts aren’t like rollover minutes, right, Sean? Choosing to go for it on 4th down on their second drive worked in hindsight, but kicking the FG would have been the safer option. And I haven’t even mentioned yet the poor play-calling on third downs.
Up: Cameron Jordan
Cameron Jordan helped salvage the win for the Saints on defense.
He didn’t light up the box score as he finished with only one tackle and one QB hit, but he was the only Saints defensive lineman to put any kind of pressure on Jets QB Bryce Petty, and he batting down an insane four passes. He’s having a monster all-around season. To put that into perspective:
Of the 14 players with double digit sacks, Cameron Jordan is the only player to record a PDef.— JM Di Giulio (@spizniz) December 18, 2017
He has 12.
Send this man to the Pro Bowl.
Down: Brandon Coleman
One fumble late in the game might be forgivable. But when you don’t make adjustments on how you carry the ball, and fumble it right back to the defense the very next time you touch the ball on the next drive, that’s inexcusable.
On top of that, Coleman could be seen sharing a not-so-pleasant conversation with Coach Payton, and he failed to see the field the rest of the game. There’s no word yet on if that was a gameplan issue, due to his fumbling, or for jawing back at Sean Payton, but it wouldn’t be a total shock if Coleman was a healthy scratch for the team’s big rematch against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.