Well that one felt good, didn’t it?
It was another roller coaster of an adventure with plenty of ups and downs along the way, but while the game was far from perfect, there were far more “ups” than “downs” for the New Orleans Saints. Here are a couple that stood out.
Up: Drew Brees
After only putting up 120 passing yards last week against the Minnesota Vikings, Drew Brees went back to playing like Drew Brees and is firmly in the MVP-hunt.
Drew finished the game 25 of 36 with 346 yards, 4 TDs, zero interceptions, and a 97.2 QBR. It’s crazy: Brees can pass for almost 350 yards, no interceptions, four touchdowns, and his completion percentage will take a hit because he “only” 70% of his passes. He’s having an incredible year.
But on top of his passing stats, he also gave his best Taysom Hill impression, rushing the ball a couple of times (four official carries) for 16 yards.
Speaking of Taysom, let’s also not forget that Drew Brees went out wide to catch a pass that was drawn up to have the ball thrown his way. It didn’t happen this time, but it’s coming.
Up: Michael Thomas
The biggest beneficiary of Drew’s big game was Michael Thomas.
Thomas had a career game on Sunday, finishing the game with 12 receptions on 15 targets, 212 receiving yards (a Saints franchise record), 1 game-sealing touchdown, and 1 HOF-caliber celebration.
Marcus Peters learned: You can’t guard Mike.
Up: PJ Williams
PJ Williams, a week after getting roasted play-after-play by Adam Thielen (yet still winning NFC Defensive Player of the Week), had a solid bounce-back game this week.
Yes, he still got beat in the slot by Cooper Kupp and Brandin Cooks, but he also made a couple of big plays, including a breakup on a key fourth down stop on the aforementioned Cooks.
It’s nice to see a cornerback with a short memory, and if he can build on his performance last week, it could go a long way for the New Orleans defense. It’s not every week the Saints will face receivers the caliber of Kupp, Thielen or Ridley in the slot.
Down: Marcus Williams
wSure, there were plenty of other plays or moments that could qualify as a “Down” this week, or even others that deserve an “Up,” but
While PJ made noticeable strides this week, the same can’t be said for Saints Safety Marcus Williams.
Marcus hasn’t looked right all season (since the Minnesota Miracle, to be honest), but it’s disappointing to see his troubles tackling continue into 2018. Just like in the Minnesota Miracle, Marcus gave up a first down by dropping his head and shoulders to try to make a tackle.
If the Saints want to see any semblance of the defense they were putting out to end the 2017 season, they will need to see improved play from Marcus Williams sooner rather than later.