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Game balls from the Saints 13-6 outlasting of Jacksonville

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Another stifling defensive effort vaults New Orleans to their fifth win.

NFL: OCT 13 Saints at Jaguars Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The New Orleans Saints improved their record to 5-1 on the season with a 13-6 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars on the road. The Saints, who won their fourth straight without injured quarterback Drew Brees, won with a strong defensive effort and an offense that made just enough plays to keep the host Jaguars at bay. The Saints offense struggled at times against a Jacksonville defense that played well. Running back Alvin Kamara was noticeably hobbled with ankle/knee ailments, and quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was slightly off target for a large part of the game. Bridgewater did settle in better as the game went along completing 6 of 7 on the team's only touchdown drive, and once again smartly took what the defense gave him. Latavius Murray picked up some key second half yards with Kamara slowed, Jared Cook had three huge catches in key moments, and Michael Thomas had a productive game with 8 catches for 89 yards. The New Orleans defensive front seven played physical against Leonard Fournette and the Jaguars running attack, forcing Jacksonville to beat them with the pass. The Saints didn't get the intense pressure on the quarterback they had in recent weeks, although they would flush Gardner Minshew from the pocket several times and Cameron Jordan did have 2 big sacks. The Saints played outstanding team defense all afternoon, but here were some of their biggest performances from yesterday's victory.

Marshon Lattimore

New Orleans Saints v Jacksonville Jaguars Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

Lattimore had another nice outing, collecting 3 tackles, credited for 3 pass breakups, and intercepting Minshew to end a Jacksonville drive. Only two Jaguar wide receivers caught any passes, and they had very little success gaining yardage after the catch. D.J. Chark and Dede Westbrook had just three receptions each on a combined 15 targets, for a total of just 96 yards. While Lattimore's spectacular play over the last month is garnering much-deserved attention, the Saints other starter at corner has been just as effective.

Eli Apple

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Jacksonville Jaguars Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Apple was once again Lattimore's near equal in providing suffocating coverage on the Jaguar wideouts. He was credited with a pass breakup, nearly bringing in a spectacular interception, and had two tackles. Apple's key pass breakup on 4th and short in the fourth quarter would end a Jaguars scoring threat in Saints territory. Apple and Lattimore were perhaps the biggest part of a huge defensive effort that held Minshew and the big play Jacksonville attack to 14 of 29 passing for just 163 yards and no touchdowns.

Marcus Williams

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Jacksonville Jaguars Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The most criticized starter of the Saints secondary, Williams has been playing at the level that earned him a spot on the 2017 NFL All-Rookie team. The New Orleans defense did not get quite the heavy pass rush that they normally do, allowing Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew to have some deep looks. Williams, along with fellow safety Vonn Bell, did an outstanding job at providing deep coverage over the top. Not only did Williams deep support help Lattimore and Apple in their coverage duties, but he helped the defense further by clamping down on several plays himself. Williams aggressively came up on a few plays in the middle of the field to break up passes, and also halted several completions for short gains.

Sean Payton

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Jacksonville Jaguars Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

It needs to be restated that the New Orleans Saints have won four in a row without Brees, a first-ballot Hall of Famer. Although the Saints offense has made plays, they are certainly not operating at peak proficiency. Defensive coordinator Dennis Allen has done a magnificent job on that side of the ball, but Payton should be the early season frontrunner for NFL Coach of the Year. He has tailored his team's game plans brilliantly to what Bridgewater does most comfortably, and has remained balanced and patient with his playcalling. New Orleans had only 11 yards rushing at halftime against Jacksonville, but forged out 93 second half yards on the ground. Payton's Saints continue to win as a complete unit, beating teams in all three phases of the game consistently. New Orleans may not be earning many style points in their wins, but they sit atop the NFC South, due in large part because of perhaps Payton's finest coaching job in his 13 years with the Saints.

Poll

Who was your standout performer in the Saints gutty win over Jacksonville?

This poll is closed

  • 2%
    Michael Thomas
    (12 votes)
  • 12%
    Jared Cook
    (49 votes)
  • 44%
    Marshon Lattimore
    (181 votes)
  • 3%
    Eli Apple
    (16 votes)
  • 3%
    Marcus Williams
    (13 votes)
  • 32%
    Sean Payton
    (132 votes)
403 votes total Vote Now