Heading into the bye, the New Orleans Saints are in a somewhat decent spot. They’re 3-2, they just won a big game against the Washington Football Team, and they get some key players back after the off week.
Many analysts are fairly high on the Saints as they expect reinforcements, but the fact remains they’ve still alternated win-loss every week. The team is going to need some consistency to keep up in a crowded NFC South, but the Carolina Panthers appear to be faltering and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have proven to be human thus far.
ESPN - #13 (From #17)
Harris was already an All-Pro return specialist as an undrafted rookie in 2019. But now the Saints have been working the 5-foot-6 and 170-pound speedster more into an offense that is thin on dynamic pass-catchers. He leads the team with 236 receiving yards on 12 catches (including TDs of 72 and 55 yards). He has also been a trusted target for Jameis Winstonon third downs. Harris left Sunday’s game early with a hamstring injury, but now has the bye week to help him recover. — Mike Triplett
USA Today - #16 (From #18)
QB Jameis Winston had four touchdowns against Washington in a 33-22 win that included Alvin Kamara having an electric game. He was a dual-threat weapon that we’ve come to know and the New Orleans defense showed up, too. CB Marshon Lattimore has six passes defended.
CBS - #11 (From #17)
They have been so up and down, but some of that is because of injuries. They head to their bye off a nice victory as Jameis Winston came up big against Washington.
NFL - #11 (From #19)
The Saints might be the NFL’s most perplexing team through five weeks, but a surge of reinforcements could bring some more clarity (and consistency) to Sean Payton’s squad. Wide receivers Michael Thomas and Tre’Quan Smith, kicker Wil Lutz, left tackle Terron Armstead and center Erik McCoy are all eligible to return to action following the Week 6 bye. Defensive tackle David Onyemata is eligible to return from suspension following Week 7’s matchup against the Seahawks. That’s a long list of valuable players, and it’s a credit to these Saints that they managed to get to their well-timed bye above .500. No team can survive in the NFL without roster depth. The 2021 Saints just proved they have it.
Bleacher Report - #14 (From #19)
For the New Orleans Saints and quarterback Jameis Winston, Week 5 was a microcosm of the season as a whole so far.
In the early going, “Bad Jameis” was large and in charge. There was a badly thrown interception on the team’s first drive and a lost fumble on the third one that landed the Saints in a 13-7 hole.
However, from there “Good Jameis” took over, and while Winston completed only 50 percent of his passes, he threw for 279 yards and four scores in a double-digit win over Washington that moved the Saints to 3-2.
The win did come at a cost though. Backup quarterback/Swiss Army knife Taysom Hill was carted from the field after suffering a concussion on a scary-looking hit. If he misses time, it will have a sizable impact on an offense already short on skill-position talent not named Alvin Kamara, but fortunately, the Saints are off in Week 6 before traveling to Seattle and hosting the Buccaneers.
That last game could be a big one.
“I still can’t buy the Saints as a threat to Tampa in the NFC South,” Davenport said. “Sunday’s win over Washington was a perfect example as to why—the early mistakes that Winston made didn’t cost them against a mediocre WFT, but spot Tom Brady two free possessions and you’re gonna get got.”
“Beating Washington on the road is worth props, but Winston still completed only half of his passes, and I’m not ready to buy into him just yet,” Gagnon agreed. “Same for the team in general. This year, they’ve gone impressive win, bad loss, impressive win, bad loss, impressive win. String something together, and then we’ll talk.”
Yahoo - #11 (From #21)
Rookie linebacker Pete Werner barely played the first three games. In the past two games Werner has 21 tackles and has been all over the field. He looks like a good second-round draft pick for the Saints.
Sports Illustrated - #12 (From #14)
The Saints will start to get guys like Michael Thomas and David Onyemata back into the fold, and if they can beat Geno Smith after their bye, they’ll go into a showdown with Tampa on Halloween at 4—2.
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