The Saints were able to decimate a Cincinnati team 51-14, including 35 first half points, and while the number of points scored is impressive, the 14 points allowed is even more eye popping for a defense that has struggled to slow down high flying offenses in the past. Here are some quick observations.
Anzalone is starting to live up to the hype that he received when he was drafted in the 3rd round of last year’s draft. The talent was always there, but staying healthy was the problem. And thus far into the season he’s been able to stay on the field and contribute, including against the Bengals. He led the team in tackles with 5 and was able to add a sack late in the game while displaying adequate coverage. Between Anzalone, Demario Davis, and AJ Klein, the linebacker group continues to be a strength and should be for the next few years.
Saints fans went on a roller-coaster of emotions this week that started with the signing of star receiver Dez Bryant— then ending the week with Bryant tearing his Achilles tendon. He was brought in to be a steady number 2 behind Michael Thomas, as the receiver with the second most catches entering Sunday’s match up was Tre’Quan Smith with a measly 12 receptions. Without him in the plans, rookies Dan Arnold and newly promoted Keith Kirkwood stepped up and contributed 4 catches for 70 yards. While those numbers aren’t eye-popping, steady contributions like this will help ease the pressure on Thomas and Kamara in the receiving game.
Left tackle Terron Armstead went down early in the game with a shoulder injury, but luckily Jermon Bushrod filled in admirably and the offensive line didn’t see much drop off. Hopefully Armstead won’t be sidelined for long, but if he must miss extended time it’s nice to know the Saints have a capable veteran back-up to fill in.
The Return of Ingram
Mark Ingram may have returned from his suspension in week 5, but this week he looks to finally be hitting midseason form. Rushing for 104 yards on only 13 attempts and adding another 58 yards and a touchdown through the air, Ingram looks to be hitting his stride at the perfect time, heading into the latter part of the season.