The final score does not do justice for this game. The Saints dominated throughout and left a fair amount of points on the board.
It was still a roller coast of a game, though, with plenty of “Ups” and “Downs” along the way, though. Here are a few that stood out:
Up: Drew Brees
In Drew’s first game back after missing the previous five weeks due to a thumb injury, he picked right up where he left this offense, throwing for 373 yards and three touchdowns. Granted, he made an ill-advised throw to Zach Line that resulted in a Patrick Peterson interception, but that was really his only blemish in what was an otherwise stellar performance.
It was sure nice to see #9 back and leading this offense.
The entire defense gets the second “Up” for the game for the second week in a row. They held the Cardinals out of the end zone the entire game, only allowing three field goals in total. The Cardinals failed to cross the 300 yards-of-offense mark, and rushed for an abysmal 40 yards as a team. Kyler Murray threw for only 220 yards, with a big chunk of those coming on a trick play (wide receiver screen flea flicker) on the Cardinals’ first possession.
Near the end of the fourth quarter, the Cardinals had already conceded the game, benching Kyler Murray to avoid risk of injury for backup Brett Hundley.
Down: Wil Lutz
I absolutely believe Lutz to be one of the best kickers in the game and fully expect him to pull out of this funk, but Lutz has uncharacteristically missed three field goals the past two weeks. I gave Lutz a bit of a “pass” last week considering the field and wind conditions on the road in Chicago, but back home in the Dome? 44 yards should be nothing for Lutz.
Lutz has spoiled Saints fans of late as we take for granted each field goal attempt as an almost-certain three points, but now that he’s set the bar, he’s got to keep reaching it.
Up: Michael Thomas
Mike Thomas is an absolute machine at this point. Maybe I was alone, but I was nervous about how Thomas would fare against an elite shutdown corner like Patrick Peterson. With Jalen Ramsey missing the Saints game against the Jaguars, this would have been Thomas’s first real one-on-one test in 2019. And Thomas passed with flying colors.
It hasn’t mattered who has been at quarterback for Thomas, as he went over 100 receiving yards for the fourth time this year. The lowest reception total Thomas has in 2019 was 5 in Week 3 against the Seattle Seahawks, but that was also the game where Thomas scored his first touchdown of the year.
Thomas is on a record-setting pace this year and is proving, no matter who is lined up against him, you #cantguardmike.