What’s good, Who Dats!? It’s Tee Word, and I’m back with the New Orleans Saints Player of the Week for Weeks 10 & 11 of 2018! After scoring nearly 50 points in 3 consecutive games, it’s easy to focus on the proficiency of the offense and neglect a few shout outs to the much improved Saints defense. Rest assured, I will not fail to recognize the guys who are doing their part to make these blow outs possible. 2018 has been a magical ride that conjures memories of another season when everything seemed to fall into place for the Saints.
Let’s get started with the week 10 visit to Cincinnati (fire alarms sold separately):
When a team wins 51-14, there is no way the defense shouldn’t receive a fair amount of recognition. As a unit the Saints defense allowed just under 300 total yards and forced 2 turnovers, allowed 0 third down conversions, and added 4 sacks for good measure. The phrase total domination does not properly describe the performance of the defense.
Offensively, there were just too many to highlight but Michael Thomas reeling in 8 of 8 targets for 70 yards and 2 touchdowns is pretty awesome. Thomas is collecting 90.1% of the throws his way this season and it’s not exactly just dink and dunk underneath routes. The efficiency of #cantguardmike is something great to behold, let’s enjoy watching him usher in the next group of elite receivers.
In my opinion, the STAR of the day was Mark Angram, err Ingram. The stout sledgehammer carried 13 times for 104 yards and an 8.0 yards per carry average. To compliment his rushing efforts, Ingram added 3 catches on 3 targets for 58 yards and 1 TD. Since his return to action in week 5, Mark has rushed for 388 yards and 4 TDs and caught 11 passes for 120 yards and a TD. His 4.9 ypc ranks 11th among running-backs in 2018. 20 of Ingram’s 79 carries have resulted in a first down. Welcome back Mark ‘Angram’!
On to week 11 and more Dome-field advantage for the Saints:
The defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles came to town led by quarterback Carson Wentz and former Saints first rounder Malcolm Jenkins. Unfortunately for both, this trip was not much fun. The Saints defense limited Wentz to one of his worst performances as a professional including 156 passing yards on 19 completions and 3 interceptions while being sacked 3 times. The defense also held the Eagles to 3/10 on 3rd down and 0-2 on 4th and 196 total yards. Marshon Lattimore registered his first INT of the year and Chris Banjo intercepted Wentz twice late to end Eagle drives.
Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara combined for 174 yards on 29 carries and averaged 6.0 yards per carry. Ingram scored twice on the ground and Kamara once by air to make it abundantly clear that the Saints have the most explosive and versatile running-back tandem in the NFL. Watching Ingram and Kamara produce consistently is a thing of beauty and the off-the-field relationship appears to one that will keep these guys happy and productive for the next few years.
Though Michael Thomas continues to ball out every week, despite drawing extra attention from defenses. his receiver corps buddies are reaping the benefits of one-on-one match-ups. Tre’Quan Smith is making defenses pay! In his second game with over 100 receiving yards, Smith displayed exceptional catching and leaping ability, making a couple of impressive layout snags. His total on the day was 10 catches, 157 yards and one TD. It makes you wonder what this offense will look like when Payton installs the Tre-Day package. The rookie has shown sure hands, solid route running, and even big play ability so going forward, he is expected to be a solid #2 to pair with Thomas.
Heading into week 12, the Saints will host the Atlanta Falcons in the Dome and attempt to solidify their spot as the best team in the National Football League.
As always, Thanks for reading, Be Cool Who Dats!