The New Orleans Saints hit the road again in Week 9 for a divisional showdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. New Orleans dominated in all facets of the game, winning 38-3. The Saints took sole possession of first place in the NFC and NFC South.
New Orleans’ wide receiving corps finally returned to full strength. Michael Thomas played for the first time since the season opener and Emmanuel Sanders returned after being activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list.
24th overall pick Cesar Ruiz played for two-thirds of the offensive snaps. He held his own for the most part against a tough Tampa front but would struggle on certain drives. If Ruiz can get things together for a full four quarters, he’ll be a lock as the starting guard.
Third-round rookie tight end Adam Trautman saw 29 snaps on offense and made the absolute most of them. He caught all three of his targets for 39 yards and his first career touchdown.
“It felt amazing,” Trautman said. “I didn’t know what it was going to feel like when I finally caught my first one, but if I could draw it up anyway, that’s how I’d do it.”
Undrafted rookie Malcolm Roach split time with Shy Tuttle at defensive tackle and recorded two assisted tackles. With Sheldon Rankins landing on injured reserve due to an MCL sprain suffered in Week 8 against Chicago, Roach will get an extra few weeks to develop and help create pressure.
Undrafted rookie receiver Marquez Callaway also got involved in the passing game with two catches for 11 yards. Even in a crowded receiver room Callaway still saw two targets as the Saints had 12 different players catch a pass, tying the modern-era record.
Third-round linebacker Zack Baun was solid in special teams coverage for 13 snaps but just two snaps on defense.
New Orleans will host an injury-riddled San Francisco 49ers team in Week 10 as they look to stay atop the NFC.
Make sure you follow Canal Street Chronicles on Twitter at @SaintsCSC, on Instagram @SaintsCSC, “Like” us on Facebook at Canal Street Chronicles, and make sure you’re subscribed to our new YouTube channel.