Without their future Hall of Famer at quarterback, the Saints were able to secure their first win in Seattle since 2007, and their first victory without any QB not named Brees at the helm since 2005. While its just one game there are still plenty of positives to take from the team’s performance.
Here are some quick observations:
Thomas freaking Morstead. What a player. He had two punts downed inside the 5-yard line and four overall inside the 20 that really helped the defense out. His first such punt landed in the perfect spot and bounced out of bounds at the 2-yard line. Justin Hardee Sr. was responsible for the other great punt, as he continues to be a critical playmaker on that unit.
Speaking of punting, the team scored its first touchdown on a punt return since 2015 when Marcus Murphy did it his rookie year. Deonte Harris picked up right where he left off in college with his 53-yard return that swung the momentum to the Saints favor early in the game.
But Harris isn’t the only one that deserves credit on that play.
The Deonte Harris touchdown return was one thing, but how about J.T. Gray and Dwayne Washington (I believe) blocking the gunner the ENTIRE play https://t.co/g7VCqHFtyl— John Hendrix (@JohnJHendrix) September 23, 2019
Harris is lucky to have made that play so early. He would later muff a punt that the Seahawks recovered late in the game. Fumbles is something that Sean Payton has no patience for, but Harris was able to break even and hopefully this is something he won’t make a habit of.
Wil Lutz also missed his first extra point attempt since week 5 last year. Fortunately, that one point didn’t loom large in this game and he was perfect on his other three attempts.
This unit continues to be an unspoken strength of this team and will need to continue to perform at an elite level to help offset the loss of Brees.
Teddy two gloves
As was expected, Bridgewater had a much better game this week than he did coming off the bench against the Rams. He went 19 of 27 for a Brees-like 70% completion percentage. His two touchdown passes were more due to scheme than pure talent, but he did what he needed to for most of the game. The gameplan was designed to get the ball to the offensive playmakers, and he was able to move the ball efficiently on quick, short passes. Bridgewater rarely took any deep shots, only attempting four deeper than 10 yards.
At times he looked uncomfortable in the pocket and didn’t seem to always set his feet before throwing. This lead to a few inaccurate passes, with two nearly being intercepted. One of which could have gone for a touchdown the other way.
Getting back into a regular routine and being able to prepare and play at home should help Bridgewater this week. He got the first one out of the way, so some of his nervousness should be eased now.
The stat sheet may not show it, but the defensive line put pressure on Russell Wilson all day. Against most other quarterbacks these pressures would have turned into sacks, but Wilson isn’t a typical quarterback and is one of the hardest to bring down.
Dennis Allen continues to use the depth of talent he has on the line to create pressure on opposing quarterbacks which only helps the secondary as they try to get back to last year’s consistency.
This team came into the season once again as a Super Bowl favorite. But after the injury to Drew Brees and the ugly loss last week against the Los Angeles Rams, many analysts and odds-makers began to doubt this team. This Sunday the Saints proved they could win a game without Brees and should look more confident next week at home against the Cowboys.