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What we learned: No matter how ugly, Saints shouldn’t underestimate the value of winning

There was a lot of sloppy football on Sunday but coming away with a W allows everyone to exhale for a moment.

Cleveland Browns v New Orleans Saints Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

As I walked the streets of New Orleans headed towards the Superdome on Sunday I stumbled across a group of Browns fans gleefully partaking in chant.

“We’re gonna tie” , they screamed!

Sure it was tongue in cheek but at that moment I smiled and realized I was face to face with fans of an organization who’s expectations for their team were so low that a tie vs Pittsburgh last week was a positive thing.

Many fans were satisfied with the tie since it was not a loss and the team overcame a 14-point deficit late in the fourth quarter to force overtime.- Dan Justik

If there is satisfaction to be found in a tie simply because it’s “not a loss” ,then the Saints 18-21 win over Cleveland, regardless of how Wesley Snipes in To Wong Foo it was, has to be that it revealed part of their personality

Their resolve

Down 12-10 with (5:10) left to go in the 4th Quarter Marcus Williams would step in front of a Tyrod Taylor throw for an INT resulting in a HUGE momentum shift for the Saints. The offense would eventually take the lead and well you know the story.


If you recall that same scenario presented itself last year in Minnesota. Saints are down, Marcus Williams gets a momentum shifting INT, offense eventually takes the lead but instead of a win they lose on a last second defensive blunder.

To get the win this time around cannot be understated!

I was impressed with that. I was encouraged. I think the one thing we are able to do is play from behind and come back and get into a game. We got the win and I’m encouraged by that, but I’m also excited to get back and look at the tape for division play coming up.” - Sean Payton

Miscellaneous Thoughts

  • Marcus Davenport’s run defense has been better than advertised. He’s also one of the top graded players on the Saints defense through 2 weeks of a young NFL season.
  • The question of what would happen if we got Drew a #1 WR are over. When asked about if he’s worried about leaning on just a couple guys in reference to Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara, Sean Payton responded by saying “I worry about the workload relative to the running back position” Translation - Mike’s going to get the ball a lot this year.
  • Deuce mentioned last week that Vonn Bell looked like the Saints best safety opposite Marcus Williams and the staff may have agreed. After playing fewer snaps than Kurt Coleman vs Tampa there was a role reversal as he was involved in 65% of the snaps to Kurt’s 37%
  • After being scarcely used in Week 1 Trey Hendrickson found himself inactive vs Cleveland. Going to assume they expected more of a run oriented game plan and his services weren't needed.
  • Drew targeting Austin Carr twice in redzone has to mean he’s trusted in the offense right?
  • Ted Ginn doesn’t attack the ball if it’s underthrown and I can’t help but think that the training camp version of Tre’Quan Smith at least attempts to make a play on that ball.
  • Football is a game of inches and when I watched the ball get placed just out of the reach of Austin Carr I imagined that Cameron Meredith at 6’3 with 32in arms and a 38in vert probably has a chance at that.
  • The defensive line awoke from it’s slumber vs Browns. They generated 3scks, 6tfl, 2pdef, and 4 hits. Definite uptick over last weeks numbers.

After two games it’s impossible to tell if the Saints are a playoff team or an 8-8 team. What I can tell you is that they’ll find a way to stand up before the 10 count and they’ll keep fighting until there is no time left on the clock. Not all of those games will end up in a W but they’ll be close and they’ll be competitive.