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Beignets and Café au Lait: Saints Set the Tone for Brees-less Stretch

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Brees-less in Seattle, Saints show the NFL that they won’t go down without a fight

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Seattle Seahawks Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning Y’all

As always, for our novice readers or non-New Orleanians, welcome!

Let’s start with some definitions:

Beignets (English: /bɛnˈjeɪ/; French: [bɛɲɛ], ben-YAY literally bump) are distinctly New Orleans, a delicacy intimately connected to the city’s rich French heritage. Best enjoyed heavily powdered with sugar.

Café au lait (/ˌkæfeɪ oʊ ˈleɪ, kæˌfeɪ, kə-/; French: [kafe olɛ]; French for “coffee with milk”) is a delicious New Orleans way to start your day.

This is your “After-Saints-Game” breakfast, where we talk about the state of the Black and Gold, we debate the goings-on in the NFC South, and paint the playoff picture in the NFC up to this point of the season. So, sit back, take a bite and a sip while your brain slowly wakes up, and let’s catch up on some football.

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What Just Happened?

· They say that the NFL is a week-to-week league, and they are right! Last week in Los Angeles, the sky seemed to be falling. Drew Brees got hurt, New Orleans had 11 penalties and looked in disarray in a 27-9 loss to the Rams. Looming was a daunting challenge against the Seattle Seahawks at Century Link Field. During the week, head coach Sean Payton and Saints players said all the right things: they would rally around Teddy Bridgewater, they relished the opportunity to show that the New Orleans Saints were not actually the Drew Brees Saints. And then yesterday in Seattle, the Saints did their talking on the field with an exhilarating 33-27 victory against the Seahawks.

· The last time the Saints won a game in Seattle was October 14, 2007, in just the second year of the Brees/Payton era. That Sunday night, the 0-4 Saints defeated the Matt Hasselbeck-led Seahawks 28-17. Drew Brees had two touchdowns passes, one to tight end Eric Johnson and one to wide receiver Marques Colston. It was the first of four consecutive wins, in what was an otherwise unmemorable year.

· In the Brees/Payton era, the Saints had been 0-3 in games that Drew Brees does not start. All three losses, interestingly, had been to the Carolina Panthers, while only one of those games was missed by Brees due to injury.

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Five Numbers...That Don’t Lie

· 52: The net punting average for Saints’ punter Thomas Morstead yesterday in Seattle, which is outstanding. Morstead punted six times, with a long of 64 yards. He consistently pinned the Seahawks inside their red zone and forced Seattle to go the distance to score. A big day for The Leg.

· 25. The number of touches by Saints’ running back Alvin Kamara. The third year running back had nine receptions (on 10 targets) for 92 yards and one touchdown, while he rushed 16 times for 69 yards (4.3 yards-per-rush) and a touchdown on the ground. And though they’re not lying, the numbers do not tell the whole story of Kamara’s game yesterday: he refused to be tackled and basically carried the Saints’ offense in a tough road environment. Just exceptional.

· 15: The Seattle Seahawks were 15-0 at Century Link Field in September since 2010, the year Pete Carroll took the job. In fact, the Seahawks were the only unbeaten NFL team in September during that span. The Seahawks are now 15-1 in September since 2010, which further emphasize how unlikely and how massive yesterday’s Saints win was.

· 1: When rookie returner Deonte Harris returned a punt for the Saints’ first touchdown of the game, it was also the first punt return for a touchdown in the NFL this season. The Saints have high hopes for the speedy Harris, who was an undrafted free agent out of Assumption College in Worcester, Mass. If he could just avoid fumbling the ball when New Orleans is about to put the game to bed, he would save Saints fans a lot of heart medication bills.

· 0: The number of sacks by the Saints’ defense yesterday. Coming into Sunday, the Saints were atop the league in sacks, after a six sacks night against the Texans in the season opener and a three-sack effort against the Rams last Sunday. Enter “Master of Elusiveness” Russell Wilson, who basically snatched several sure-fire sacks out of the paws of several Saints pass rushers. It doesn’t get any easier next week with the bulldozer that is Dak Prescott next in line.

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Beignets and Café au Lait Awards

· Fresh Beignets with Hot Coffee: Alvin Kamara. I have known for a while now, as have we all, that Alvin Kamara is a bona fide running back in the NFL. And yet, he still finds way to amaze: the incredible balance, the shiftiness, the aggression on his runs, for a player that doesn’t look as imposing physically as his play does on the field. He gets all the beignets today.

· Stale Beignets with Old Coffee: Marshon Lattimore. What happened to Shornp2? He has been getting roasted on a regular basis. I am quickly running out of excuse for the Saints’ talented cornerback. Look, Lattimore is playing and playing hard. Also, being a cornerback on an island is a tough task. Maybe he set the bar too high for himself in 2017? Whatever the case, opposing quarterbacks do not think twice about throwing Lattimore’s way anymore. I’m just going to invite us all to say some Voodoo prayers that he returns to his rookie form.

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What’s Next?

· The Saints will play the hated very much disliked Dallas Cowboys (3-0) on Sunday night in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Dallas has looked good so far this season, scoring over 30 points in all three games so far this year. The Cowboys have also played the New York Giants (1-2), Washington Redskins (0-2) and the shamelessly tanking Miami Dolphins (0-3). Thus, Dallas’ first real test will be on Sunday night in New Orleans, in front of a raucous Superdome crowd ready for some revenge from last year’s 13-10 loss in Jerry World.

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Super Bowl Odds

Following their win in Seattle, according to fivethirthyeight.com, the Saints now have the fifth-best odds of winning the Super Bowl at 6%, behind the Chiefs (20%), Patriots (19%), Rams (12%) and Cowboys (8%). New Orleans has the best odds to win the NFC South at 62%, followed by the Falcons (20%), Panthers (11%) and Bucs (6%).

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Hey, how come you’re still here? Get some work done! Unless you’re still drunk from celebrating yesterday’s triumph in Seattle, in which case, carry on.

Poll

What is your confidence level in the Brees-less Saints after the win in Seattle?

This poll is closed

  • 47%
    High: Saints are first in the NFC South and there to stay
    (155 votes)
  • 47%
    Medium: They needed a special teams and a defensive score to win.
    (154 votes)
  • 4%
    Low: Seattle probably underestimated the Saints and Teddy looked shaky
    (15 votes)
  • 0%
    Very-low: I love the rain, hate the sun and can’t stand delicious burgers
    (1 vote)
325 votes total Vote Now