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.
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.
What Just Happened?
· On November 29, 2018, the 10-1 New Orleans Saints traveled to Dallas to face the 6-5 Dallas Cowboys. The offensive juggernaut Saints were brimming with confidence and riding a 10-game winning streak. The Cowboys popped the Saints in the mouth, for lack of a more vivid expression, and the Saints didn’t respond well. Dallas won that game 13-10.
Yesterday, it was the Cowboys’ turn to travel to New Orleans brimming with confidence: Dallas was 3-0 and had routed its first three opponents by a score of 97-44. The Saints popped the Cowboys in the mouth, starting with a Taysom Hill run that Cowboys’ safety Xavier Woods will remember for a long time, as Hill lowered his shoulder and decked Woods on his way to a first down early in the first quarter. At the end of the night, the Saints had a 12-10 win, a score eerily reminiscent of the one from last November.
· With the win, New Orleans is now 2-0 since Drew Brees’ thumb injury and 3-1 overall. The win not only keeps the Saints atop the NFC South, it also gives them the tiebreaker over the Dallas Cowboys, something that could prove very important come playoffs time, as both the Saints and Cowboys figure to be postseason contenders in the NFC.
Five Numbers...That Don’t Lie
· 100: The catching percentage by wide receiver Michael Thomas yesterday against the Cowboys. What’s new? In what might have been the quietest 9-for-9 (target-to-reception) for 95 yards, Thomas was Teddy Bridgewater’s favorite target last night and for a very good reason: he catches everything.
· 9: The number of penalties that the Saints incurred last night against the Cowboys. New Orleans was flagged nine times for 80 yards, and infuriatingly, seven of those came on the offensive side of the ball, killing promising drives. The silver lining here is that it is always easier to correct mistakes after a win than after a loss.
· 1.9. The average yard-per-rush by Cowboys’ running back Ezekiel Elliott last night in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Elliot came into last night averaging 5.2 yards per rush in his first three games this season. The Saints held the powerful running back to one of the lowest yard-per-rush performances of his young NFL career.
· 1: The Saints had only one sack last night, but it came when it mattered most: with the Cowboys having a first-and-10 at their own 14-yard line with 1:39 to go in the game and no timeouts, defensive tackle David Onyemata rushed inside and sacked Dak Prescott for an 11-yard loss to the Dallas three-yard line. The play not only pushed Dallas back, it took valuable time off the clock, as an injury to the Cowboys also forced a 10-second runoff on the clock. The time taken away from that sack contributed to Dallas running out of time and having to attempt a Hail Mary at the end of the game.
· 0: The number of touchdowns scored by the Saints last night. The very interesting stat here is that the last time the Saints won a game without scoring a touchdown was October 25, 1998. That day, the 3-3 Saints beat the 3-3 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 9-3 in the then-Louisiana Superdome. The Saints’ nine points that day all came off the leg of Doug Brien. It took nearly 21 years before we saw such a feat again.
Beignets and Café au Lait Awards
· Fresh Beignets with Hot Coffee: Marshon Lattimore. I have been hard on Lattimore through the first three games of the season, as the Saints’ best cornerback looked nothing like his Defensive-Rookie-of-the-Year self, getting routinely torched by opposing wide receivers. On Sunday night, Lattimore shadowed Dallas’ best receiver Amari Cooper on nearly every play in which the Saints played man-coverage. Cooper finished the game with five receptions on eight targets, for just 48 yards and no touchdowns. Lattimore was grabby without incurring a penalty, and was in lockstep with Cooper the whole game. A prime time-worthy performance that the Saints hope to see every game moving forward. With Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans on deck, I think we can expect to see exactly that.
· Stale Beignets with Old Coffee: The Saints’ Offensive Line. Of the Saints’ nine penalties, six were on the offensive line, and all considerably impacted drives and thwarted touchdown scoring opportunities. Don’t get me wrong, Dallas’ defensive line is one of the best in the NFL and can cause many offensive linemen to shake in their boots. But the Saints’ offensive line is also one of the best in the NFL, and they nearly cost New Orleans last night’s game.
· The Saints will play the surging Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-2) on Sunday at 12:00 CT in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Bucs have alternated wins and losses and thus, by my rigorous scientific logic, they are due for a loss since they are coming off a shocking 55-40 road-win against the Rams in Los Angeles. Last season, New Orleans went 1-1 against Tampa Bay, a record that included a dubious 48-40 home-shellacking at the hand of Ryan
Fitzmagic Fitzpatrick. This time around, it’ll be Jameis Winston coming to the Dome on the heels of a four-touchdown performance in L.A.
Following their win against Dallas last night, according to fivethirthyeight.com, the Saints now have the third-best odds of winning the Super Bowl at 9%, behind only the Chiefs (22%) and the Patriots (21%). The Rams (6%), Cowboys (5%) and Bears (4%) all fell behind the Saints. New Orleans has the best odds to win the NFC South at 69%, followed by the Bucs (16%), Panthers (13%) and Falcons (7%).
Hey, how come you’re still here? Get some work done! Unless you’re still drunk from celebrating the Black and Gold’s triumph over Jerrah’s Boys, in which case, carry on.
After two games as the starting quarterback, what is your confidence level in Teddy?
This poll is closed
High: He is doing what the coaches are asking of him
Medium: He makes me nervous, but hasn’t made a disastrous mistake
Low: His hesitancy will eventually cost the Saints a game
My confidence in burgers keeping me from dying while watching Saints games is high