What defense was that? In a first for the Ups and Downs series, we’ve only got Ups to look at this week.
The Saints got their first, second, and third turnovers of the season against the Panthers, and they came in the form of interceptions by PJ Williams, Marcus Williams and Kenny Vaccaro. I thought about making Vaccaro the only “Down” of the game with his busted coverage, but his interception more than made up for it.
Up: Offensive Line
In what had been a “Down” the past two weeks, giving up constant pressure and sacks to Drew Brees, more than held its own against the talented Panthers defensive line. There were a couple of times Brees got hit or pressure forced poor throws, but overall (and more than we’d seen in either of the first two games) the offensive line gave plenty of time for Drew to make throws and for routes to develop down field.
Michael Thomas finally had his big game. Ted Ginn Jr caught a TD. Brandon Coleman scored a TD and Coby Fleener had a big catch on a key 3rd-down conversion. Mark Ingram had a big gain on a screen play, and even Adrian Peterson caught a pass (for only one yard, but still, he was used as a pass-catcher for a play). Tommylee Lewis caught a pass after he was patient in running his route. Overall, it was a solid day for all of the Saints offensive pass-catchers.
Up: Running Backs
The Saints finally were able to get all three of their Backs touches in this game in a productive manner. Kamara had a big run that led to a touchdown, and we finally saw “Angry” Mark Ingram running the ball. If the Saints can keep up a somewhat balanced offensive attack, look out, NFL.