The Saints finally got that statement win that we have been waiting for and Drew Brees made history with a pass to a rookie who scored his first NFL touchdown. Here are 5 things that stood out against Washington.
Davenport continues to show us why he was taken so high in the draft. He was able to consistently get pressure on Alex Smith as well as defend against the run. He did a good job at setting the edge, especially on one play where he tackled Chris Thompson for a loss. If his upward trajectory continues, this defensive line could get scary.
Smith finally had his own breakout game and scored his first touchdown in the NFL. Unfortunately for Smith, he won’t be able to keep the ball from his first touchdown reception because it will reside in Canton, Ohio, as it was the record-breaking pass for Drew Brees. He may however get to keep another ball from the night, as he scored his second touchdown later in the second half. Its good to finally see other skill players stepping up, especially one from this year’s draft class.
Speaking of skill players stepping up, Mark Ingram has finally returned to the lineup, and he did not waste anytime announcing it. He rushed 16 times for 53 yards and two touchdowns and added 2 receptions for 20 yards. Alvin Kamara didn’t have to shoulder the bulk of the load like he has been the last few games. This will help him stay effective over the course of the season and also keep defenses honest when you have two dual threat running backs to defend.
Injuries and Depth
Apparently, the football gods do not want to see Marshon Lattimore play against the Redskins. It is the second year in a row that he has gone down with an injury early in the game. This time it was a scary looking concussion as his head was slammed into the shoulder of linebacker AJ Klein. Speaking of Klein, he later went down with an injury but was able to return, as did Ken Crawley. Taylor Stallworth was carted off with what appeared to be a lower leg injury. Hopefully it is nothing serious, but if it is, we may see Jay Bromley signed to the team again.
Justin Hardee, who played cornerback for the first time in a live game Monday night, stepped up when filling in for the aforementioned Lattimore. He made good tackles and was decent in coverage, recording his first interception that he nearly took for 6 points before being tripped up. Hopefully Lattimore will be able to play after the bye, but it’s nice to know that we have someone behind him who can at least fill in for half a game.
The offense was able to maintain their balanced approached with 32 rushing attempts and 29 passes. It is important to maintain that balance in order to prevent defenses from zeroing in on the pass. This should continue into future games now that Ingram is back.