“Teddy, Teddy, Teddy...”
That was more like it! Man, does 4-1 feel good.
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:
Up: Teddy Bridgewater
Teddy Two-Gloves deserves to be Teddy Two-Ups for his performance yesterday.
After dinking, dunking, and game-managing the Saints to two wins over impressive opponents in Seattle and Dallas, Teddy Bridgewater showed the Who Dat Nation what he can do when asked to chuck the ball down the field. Bridgewater finished the game 26 of 34 for 314 yards with four touchdowns and an interception that truly was not his fault.
It was against one of the worst cornerback groups in the NFL that lost its best cornerback to ejection early in the game, but that shouldn’t take away from the fact that Bridgewater absolutely delivered.
“Teddy, Teddy, Teddy...”
Down: Deante Harris
Let’s get the lone down out of the way so we can go back to singing praises of the New Orleans Saints.
Deante Harris is a rookie with a world of potential, so Sean Payton is rightfully patient with the young man. But after fortunately recovering his muffed punt on the first punt of the game, he then fumbled away the second punt with the Saints - somehow - fortunate enough to come out of replay with a “no clear recovery” ruling from the officials despite Tampa Bay coming out of the pile with the ball. On a punt later in the game, Harris called for a fair catch around the 15 yard line, but then let it fall to the turf and get downed inside the 10.
This will need to be addressed ASAP.
Up: Michael Thomas
Back to the Ups!
Part of the reason for the success of Bridgewater was a clear understanding that he was just going to throw the ball to Michael Thomas. Thomas again proved you “Can’t Guard Mike,” finishing the game with 11 receptions on 13 targets for a whopping 182 receiving yards and two touchdowns.
This man is worth every penny the Saints paid him this past offseason.
Don’t let the last two minutes of the game district you from the overall performance of the defense. The Saints defense utterly dominated the Tampa Bay offense all game.
The only problem in giving the defense an “Up” this week, is that I’m not sure who deserves more credit. The Saints defensive front registered six sacks on the game, with Marcus Davenport leading the way with two himself, silencing the haters ever since the Saints traded up to draft him in the first round in 2018. But Marshon Lattimore blanketed Mike Evans all game, completely removing Evans from making any sort of impact - 0 receptions for 0 yards on 4 targets. Eli Apple and the rest of the Saints secondary did their part also, holding Jameis Winston to 204 passing yards, with a big chunk of those coming in garbage time at the end of the fourth quarter.
It’s hard to say if the secondary made Jameis hold on to the ball too long which led to sacks or if the constant threat of pressure from the defensive line forced Jameis to rush his throws which helped the secondary’s numbers.
In any event, a big “Up” to the entire defense yesterday.