An ugly win is still a win, right?
It was still a roller coast of a game, with plenty of “Ups” and “Downs” along the way, though. Here are a few that stood out:
Down: Teddy Bridgewater
Please understand that I’m by no means a “Teddy Bridgewater Hater” or anything of the sort. I think Bridgewater will be a great NFL quarterback, whether for the New Orleans Saints or elsewhere in 2020. That being said, I’m not a blind homer either. I’m simply willing to point out when a player has a bad game.
For Teddy, yesterday was a bad game. He didn’t turn the ball over, and he lead his team to a victory, but the team winning had little to do with Teddy. Teddy consistently missed open throws, had throws sail, held on to the ball too long, and refused to pull the trigger down field despite open receivers. Against one of the NFL’s best defenses next week in the Chicago Bears, he’s going to have to step up.
Up: Special Teams
Deonte Harris didn’t fumble the ball. Wil Lutz nailed each of his kicks, including a field goal which tied an NFL-record for most consecutive field goals made on the road in NFL history. Thomas Morstead continued to show why he’s one of the best punters in the game, helping the Saints defense flip the field.
In a low scoring game, the field position battle is crucial. the Saints special teams did everything to help their team win when the offense wasn’t firing on all cylinders.
The Saints defense gets an entire “Up” this week for the second week in a row. After Minshew Mania ran wild over the NFL the past few weeks, the Saints defense held the Jacksonville Jaguars out of the end zone all game. They tacked on two sacks with constant pressure on Gardner Minshew forcing bad throws, and one bad throw landed in the arms of Marshon Lattimore for an interception. Frankly, Minshew was lucky to finish the game with only one INT, as Demario Davis and Eli Apple each dropped catchable passes on defense.
This up is long overdue.
When Drew Brees went down, there were some who immediately wrote off the Saints’ chances of staying competitive in the NFC South, let alone the entire NFC. Many fans - myself included - crossed their fingers and hoped for Teddy Bridgewater to lead the team to a 3-3 record while Brees was out.
Fast forward four weeks, and Teddy has kept the Saints in first place in the NFC South with a 4-0 record as a starter in 2019. Bridgewater has played well enough to help the Saints stay competitive, but it’s truly a testament to Sean Payton, Dennis Allen, and the rest of the Saints coaching staff to keep the team focused after their Hall of Fame quarterback went down with injury.
If Sean Payton isn’t on the short list for Coach of the Year, someone is doing something wrong.