The season series finale between the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons ended on Sunday afternoon in a 21-16 victory for the Saints. Once again, New Orleans have swept their hapless rivals on the season and became the first team in the NFL to clinch a playoff berth in the process.
As if this game wasn’t already going to garner some overreactions on any normal rivalry week, just toss in some Taysom Hill, a sprinkle of Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley going off and the playoffs in sight to help inflame the hot takes.
Let’s get to it, here are the biggest overreactions from Sunday’s game:
Marshon Lattimore is trash
All one has to do is point to Calvin Ridley’s 108 receiving yards as evidence that Lattimore was absolutely atrocious. If you don’t want to use those numbers how about the number three? That is how many penalties Lattimore drew against the Falcons. Therefore, when he wasn’t busy letting Atlanta’s receivers run all over him he was busy fouling them and furthering the Falcon’s cause of moving down the field.
I saw it all day on Twitter, fans were disappointed in Lattimore’s performance and were once again asking themselves where the Lattimore who dominates Mike Evans goes for the other 14 games a year. Some of it can be explained by effort, some of it is due to drive and sometimes it’s just luck.
But wait! Lattimore actually played pretty good coverage against Ridley on Sunday afternoon. He played tight coverage, sometimes to the detriment of the team as he drew three penalties. Other times, Ridley just made phenomenal catches proving he is a legitimate wideout in the league. Additionally, with both Janoris Jenkins and Patrick Robinson out, Lattimore was expected to pick up the slack and Matt Ryan, ever the wily veteran, took advantage of the situation. Lattimore is not ‘trash’ and he will play a large part in this team’s drive for another Super Bowl going forward.
The Saints are a better team with Taysom Hill as quarterback than Drew Brees
Hill goes 3-0 as a starter and finally throws his first passing touchdown in the NFL in his third game and a sect of people firmly believe he is better than Drew Brees. Laughable.
If I was Sean Payton and Drew Brees was healthy going into the playoffs, I would not play him. I think Taysom Hill is better.— Jake Leopold (@jakeleopold225) December 6, 2020
Let’s start from the top. I’ll even give Hill a head start and say that all past career statistics aren’t accounted for and it comes down to just the tangible evidence from this season alone. To start, Brees flows through his progressions with such flawless ease that he is able to get to his checkdown before Hill is able to decipher what the defense is throwing at him.
When Hill finally does decide to throw the ball (if he does), his timing with his receivers is suspect at best and the time that Brees has worked and perfected that timing is the key to the most efficient offense in the league. Hill can operate the offense, but without that efficiency that Brees has become known for, this offense goes from down right lethal to merely functional.
At 41-years old Brees is continuing to elevate receivers around him, take the Tampa Bay Buccaneers game for example. During the second matchup with the Buccaneers Brees threw to 12 different receivers, nearly every eligible receiver on the team. Just like earlier in his career he was able to elevate those around him and absolutely dominate the second toughest team in the division and the preseason Super Bowl winners. While Hill is capable of making plays with both his arm and legs, he has not displayed the proficiency to make those around him better. Instead, he effectively eliminated Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas from the gameplan during his first two games under center.
Taysom Hill is different than Drew Brees, but he isn’t better, and this team certainly is not better with Hill under center rather than Brees.
Carl Granderson’s efficiency proves he is a better defensive end than Marcus Davenport
Carl Granderson has been quietly great this season for the defensive line. The 23-year old has averaged just north of 30% of defensive snaps but still boasts 2 sacks, 1 fumble and 1 interception which came against Atlanta on Sunday. Granderson is just living proof that the Saints are truly a team of incredible depth, and with Marcus Davenport’s injury history, he is seeing more of snap share than he has in the past.
Additionally, Davenport has gotten a lot of criticism through his career with New Orleans after the team essentially utilized two first-round picks to acquire the University of Texas-San Antonio product. Between a few lackluster seasons and multiple injuries, Davenport’s popularity has been relatively low with fans. Now, Granderson is making a case and as with nearly everything in this world, short term memory prevails.
However, despite Granderson making the most of his opportunities, Davenport is clearly the better the defensive end. Davenport is a game changer when he is on the field and absolutely disrupts opposing offenses on a consistent basis. Nearly every grading tool has Davenport ranked higher, and their PFF grades aren’t particularly close with Granderson sitting at 61.6 and Davenport at 81.5.
Granderson is an important part of the defensive line and he will play a major role in the unit’s success going forward. However, he is by no means better than Davenport.
What are your overreactions? Let us know in the comments. Make sure you follow Canal Street Chronicles on Twitter at @SaintsCSC, “Like” us on Facebook at Canal Street Chronicles, follow us on Instagram at @SaintsCSC and make sure you’re subscribed to our new YouTube channel. As always, you can follow me on Twitter @KadeKistner.