Now THAT was a complete win - utter domination for most of the game.
It felt like smooth sailing for the most part, but there were still plenty of ups and downs along the way. Here are a couple that stood out.
Up: Drew Brees
Let’s get this one out of the way.
Drew should be firmly planted into two very important conversations after his Monday Night Football performance against the Washington Redskins: 1) He is now cemented into the conversation for top three greatest QB to ever play the game, and 2) He should now be considered on the top three MVP candidates for 2018.
What Patrick Mahomes and Jared Goff are doing is great. But Drew Brees deserves and MVP. He’s the only quarterback in 2018 not to have thrown an interception, and with a Week 6 Bye, the streak will live on a bit longer.
Up: Mark Ingram
The crowd was electric for Ingram’s pre-game introduction, and Ingram fed off that energy early in the game.
Ingram’s end-of-game stats don’t look too impressive if you take away his two touchdown runs, but Ingram’s return showed how important he is when it’s less than a yard or two from a first down or goal line. Ingram’s skillset brings back a much-needed dimension to the Saints offense.
Honestly, so many other players on offense stepped up, “Up”s could go out to nearly everyone, but let’s let Ingram have this one all by himself.
At one point in the game, it just felt like Saints defenders were dropping like flies.
Marshon Lattimore. AJ Klein. Ken Crawley. Taylor Stallworth.
Fortunately for the Saints, most of the injured defensive players were able to return later in the game. If there was ever a week for Saints players to get banged up, though, it would be the week before the bye.
Lattimore was officially ruled with a concussion, forcing the Saints to turn to their back-up back-up cornerback (already forced to play PJ Williams in place of Patrick Robison, now on IR). Fortunately for the Saints, that back-up back-up is next on the list.
Up: Justin Hardee
Forced into action on the defense, Hardee had himself a day. Yes, he got beat on a couple of deep plays, but he generally played pretty well. He also set up the Saints for another big touchdown on an interception and return, leaving the Saints with a first-and-goal to go.
What’s even crazier to think about?
This was the first year Hardee has ever played cornerback.
Maybe the Saints consider expanding his role on the defense?