What’s up Who Dats! What a weird week, huh? I’ll be completely honest and address this once head on. After watching the New Orleans Saints have an opportunity to salt away the clock of NFC Championship game ripped from their hands, it has been hard to get the pen to bleed without complaining about the officiating. Fortunately, like many of you faithful souls, I have rebounded to store this loss away with the handful of other heartbreaks I’ve endured in my lifetime of fandom.
Moving forward, solid performances from the team’s marquee players showed not be overshadowed by controversy. When I went back to review the Saints 26-23 loss to the Los Angeles Rams, a player from each unit jumped out at me: Alvin Kamara, Demario Davis, and Wil Lutz. Let’s take a few moments to shed some light on these players who have been standout performers all season.
On offense, when the Saints were without their #1 tight end to start the game and lost their #2 TE on the first drive, Drew Brees’ safety valve was Kamara. The Rams dedicated an extreme amount of resources to eliminating Michael Thomas from the game plan but had no answer for Alvin as a receiver. Though his contribution on the ground was limited to less than 2 yards per carry, Kamara averaged 8.7 yards per catch for 96 yards on 11 grabs. A lot of his damage was done in the first half and an adjustment by Rams defensive coordinator Wade Phillips made things a bit tougher in the second half but Kamara’s presence alone opened up things for his teammates down the stretch. As a vital cog in the Saints offensive machine, Kamara came to play on championship Sunday.
Defensively, linebacker Demario Davis played his heart out. Not only did Davis lead the team in solo and assisted tackles, he collected the Saints only turnover, an interception off a tipped Jared Goff pass in the first quarter. Over the course of the game, Demario was his usual, active self, popping up all over the field making tackles and remaining a presence that is greatly appreciated on the Saints defense. 9 total tackles and an interception are a statement on one of the games’ biggest stages. Considered a steal of a signing, Davis did not disappoint in the most meaningful game of the year and I am excited to see what level of play he brings next year.
Wil Lutz is easy to overlook on a team full of budding stars, stars, and superstars. The 3rd year kicker has been reliable all season and continued to nail his postseason attempts at a high rate. In his most important game to date, Lutz was easy money hitting all 3 of his field goal attempts and both P.A.T.s. Of the Saints 23 points, Lutz had a hand (er, leg) on 11 of them, so there is no way he doesn’t get recognized for his efforts on the big day. What is so cool about Wil is the fact that he split the uprights on almost every kick. His accuracy has made Saints fans very comfortable seeing him line up to kick from every distance and that feeling was intact on Sunday. I’m hoping the Saints will lock him up for a bit longer this off-season.
That’s going to conclude our final player of the week article for the 2018-19 season. Next I’ll comb through my previous articles and select a Player of the Year according to Tee Word. Until then, as always, thanks for reading, Be Cool Who Dats!