Maybe the Who Dat Nation doesn’t need to panic just yet after all.
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: Alvin Kamara
When the New Orleans Saints lost Drew Brees to injury, you knew they were going to have to lean on Alvin Kamara if they wanted any hope of winning games in Brees’s absence. And lean on Kamara they did.
In Week 3, Alvin Kamara finished with 69 rushing yards (leading the team in rushing), 92 receiving yards (leading the team in receiving), and two scores. In the home of the infamous BeastMode run from Marshawn Lynch, Kamara had himself mini-BeastMode runs where he seemingly bounced off or ran through tacklers to get positive yards on every attempt.
He’s something special.
If we’re going to point out when the NFL officials have bad games, we need to also recognize when they have a good one too. There were a few ticky-tacky pass interference or holding calls that could have gone either way, but you expect those issues every game. But for what felt like the first time in a long time, it didn’t feel as if the Saints were actively having to play not just against the team on the other side of the football, but the zebras too.
Of note, the referees properly let a questionable fumble call play through which the Saints returned for a touchdown. Upon further review, the call stood, but it was a stark contrast from the Week 2 blunder against the Rams.
There were a lot of considerations for a possible down this week. Deante Harris muffed a punt, but he also returned one for a score. The defense gave up huge plays, but also scored a touchdown and made key stops on fourth down. The Saints cornerbacks gave up contested catches, but also had several passes broken up. However, if we’re taking something away from this game to fix, it would definitely be the sloppy play that resulted in numerous penalties - especially on offense.
Granted, playing on the road in Seattle is always tough for opposing offenses, but when you’re already missing Drew Brees, you can’t afford to shoot yourself in the foot with holdings, false starts, or illegal blocks.
Hopefully this gets cleaned up at home next week.
Up: Thomas Morstead
Thomas Morstead is the best punter in the NFL.
His ability to consistently pin teams within their own ten yard line is absolutely uncanny. When the Saints needed Morstead to flip field position, Morstead performed like the Pro Bowler he is and his performance is what helped keep the Saints in the game.
(Special honorable mention “Up” goes to the assist from Pete Carroll. Yo, do you not even clock manage, bro?)