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3 Ups 1 Down from Saints win against the Lions on Sunday

An explosive Saints offense and a three touchdown second quarter helps overcome an early 14 point deficit to bring team to 2-2

New Orleans Saints v Detroit Lions Photo by Amy Lemus/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The New Orleans Saints offense was on full display in Sunday afternoon’s 35-29 win over the Detroit Lions. The win snapped a two game losing streak for the Saints. Down 14 points early in the first quarter, the Saints would score 35 unanswered points over the next two quarters. The Lions made a late comeback that would fall short. Here are three “ups” and one “down” from the game.

Note: Deonte Harris has been an “up” all season and it’s only a matter of time before he finds the endzone on one of his electric kick and punt returns.

Up: Running Back Duo

Saints head coach Sean Payton got the memo that Alvin Kamara needed more carries after he only had six last week, and Kamara delivered. The running back had 19 carries for 83 yards and a touchdown. As per usual, Kamara was a dual threat, making three receptions for 36 yards, good for 119 total yards. Latavius Murray excelled in the redzone for the Saints, rushing in two touchdowns on an afternoon where he had 14 carries for 64 yards. The New Orleans running back duo’s production is key to the team’s success as shown in Sunday’s win, as the duo scored three of the Saints five touchdowns.

Up: Wideouts Stepping Up

No Michael Thomas, no problem. Emmanuel Sanders and Tre’Quan Smith stepped up big time in the absence of last season’s league leading receiver in yards and receptions. 33 year-old Sanders who was signed this offseason found the fountain of youth, leading all receivers in yardage, finishing with 6 receptions for 93 yards. Smith was a redzone threat, receiving two touchdowns and 54 yards on 4 receptions. Hopefully, Michael Thomas is back soon to make this offense even more lethal.

Up: Drew Brees

Drew Brees had a great game, and unlike previous games this season, he did not shy away from deep throws. Brees’s usual surgical precision was back and on display, as the quarterback completed 19 passes on 25 attempts for 246 yards, two touchdowns and one interception, good enough for a 116.4 passer rating. Brees’s lone interception came in the first quarter when his pass was deflected by Lions defensive end Danny Shelton and then intercepted by Detroit cornerback Darryl Roberts. Other than that, Brees was superb, finding Tre’Quan Smith twice in the endzone and making completions to nine receivers. Brees was stellar, and should look to keep throwing the ball vertically rather than over relying on short horizontal throws.

Down: Redzone Defense

To keep it simple, the Saints redzone defense was subpar. The Lions scored on four of five chances, including a two point conversion to make the game a six point game with less than four minutes left in the 4th quarter. The Lions were also 3/3 on fourth downs. While the Saints offense was superb, the defense cannot take that for granted going forward. Going forward, the defense needs to close out games and protect big leads.