Well that stunk. 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: Coby Fleener
It wasn’t a great day for the Saints’ receivers, but Fleener led the team in receptions and yards, scoring the only touchdown for the Saints on the night. With Willie Snead set to miss the next two days due to a suspension, Fleener will be needed to play a bigger role in the Saints offense than he played last year.
Down: Michael Thomas
While Fleener led the Saints in passing, that meant it was a bad for Michael Thomas. In his first game as the #1 receiving option in the Saints offense, Thomas struggled against the Vikings secondary. Thomas was limited to only 45 yards, finishing behind (wait for this list): Fleener, Mark Ingram, Ted Ginn, and Tommylee Lewis on the team. Granted, Thomas was tied for the team lead in targets, he simply was a non-factor in the Saints passing game.
Down: Offensive Line
It’s not just that the Saints offensive line was giving up pressure to the Vikings talented defensive unit, or that the Saints offensive line struggled to create holes in the running game, but add in the fact that the Saints lost Zach Strief to a knee injury during the game. The Saints were already starting rookie Ryan Ramczyk in place on Terron Armstead, and they were then forced to put Senio Kelemente back into the unit charged with protecting Drew Brees.
That didn’t work out so well.
If the Saints are going to be without Strief for any extended period of time, it’s going to be hard times for New Orleans.
Down: Saints secondary
Was it just me, or did this Saints secondary feel like it came straight out of the pages of 2016?
Where was Sterling Moore in this game? Where was Ken Crawley? Where was De’Vante Harris? Someone told me that Harris at least suited up for the Saints and started this game, but I watched this game, and couldn’t find him anywhere near the ball.