A win is a win, right? It wasn’t the prettiest of victories, but it still counts the same in the standings.
In what was another roller-coaster of a game with plenty of ups and downs along the way, here are a couple that stood out.
Up: Alvin Kamara
Kamara failed to score a touchdown this week and noticeably struggled running between the tackles, but he still had himself a decent game with 97 total yards of offense and a successful two point conversion (more on that decision later).
Hopefully the eventual return of Mark Ingram will help open things up even more for Kamara, but he continues to show how elusive and slippery he can be in the open field.
Up: Marcus Williams
It’s good to see Marcus have a strong showing with a key interception after the Minnesota Miracle haunted him all offseason.
He didn’t play great the entire game, but when the team desperately needed a turnover, it was Williams who came up with a big play that swung momentum for the Saints.
As the game went on leading up to the interception, you could see Marcus’s confidence growing, and his level of play increasing with each snap. Hopefully he can build on this and have the All Pro season we all know he’s capable of.
Up: Taysom Hill
Taysom continues to show how he can help an NFL team win games. It might not be at the quarterback position, but if you can get the ball into his hands, special things can happen.
After unceremoniously fielding two kickoffs as touchbacks, Taysom decided to run one out of the middle of the Saints endzone. He made his way to the Saints 40-yard line, sparking a Saints offense thad had struggled to that point.
Then let’s talk about what he can do when he’s in the huddle.
On a 3rd and goal in the 4th quarter, Taysom and Drew Brees were both on the field, with Taysom lining up in the shotgun and Drew Brees out wide. His mere presence in the backfield forced the Cleveland Browns to burn a costly timeout that later proved crucial in the game.
When Taysom Hill is playing, you’ve got to pay attention to him.
Down: Well, kind of, the rest of the entire game, right?
There were problems basically everywhere else in the game.
You hate piling on the sad franchise, but the Cleveland Browns kicking situation was so bad, it should make this list for the Saints. It was absolutely brutal.
Drew Brees struggled with ball placement on a handful of passes. He put a little too much air on what would have been an easy touchdown to Ben Watson early in the game. He underthrew Ted Ginn Jr in the second quarter in what could easily have been an interception. Later in the game, when Ginn had his man beat, Brees had his deep ball sail off out of bounds. It’s hard to know if this was a one-off fluke, or a sign of things to come.
Michael Thomas had another monster stat line, but had a costly fumble and drop, both again for the second week in a row.
As great as the play-calling was by Sean Payton to force the Browns to burn a timeout on the Taysom Hill-gimmick play and the decision to go for the two point conversion, he almost gave the game back to the Browns with a couple of questionable passes on second and third down with under a minute to go.
This team has yet to fully click on all cylinders, but when it does, watch out.