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Beignets and Café au Lait: All About that Defense

Demario Davis is the nicest man off the field. On it, he’s a demon.

New Orleans Saints v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

Hi Y’all!

We are back! The 2021-22 NFL season is underway, with the ecstasy of victory and the agony of untimely interceptions. So, let’s take a look at what happened in the Saints’ game yesterday. But before that...

As always, for our novice or non-New Orleanians readers, 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.

Café au lait (/ˌkæfeɪ oʊ ˈleɪ, kæˌfeɪ, kə-/; French: [kafe olɛ]; French for “coffee with milk”) is a delicious New Orleans way to start your day.

This is your “After-Saints-Game” brunch, where we talk about the state of the Black and Gold, we debate the goings-on with the team and talk about what’s next at 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 Monday night, the New Orleans Saints were going back to a place where they do not have many good memories: Lumen Field, formerly Century Link Field, in Seattle. The Saints were facing the somewhat-reeling Seattle Seahawks, with New Orleans coming off their bye week. The Saints started the game slowly, trailing 7-0 before the fans could settle into their seats, with cornerback Marshon Lattimore looking out of control while trying to guard excellent wide receiver DK Metcalf who seemed to get into Lattimore’s head in the early part of the game.

On the other side of the ball, Jameis Winston and his cohort of misfits didn’t fare much better: the offense looked lethargic, with Winston missing open receivers and the team looking discombobulated. It took until the second quarter to see the Saints’ offense wake up, with a 19-play 86-yard drive that resulted in a... field goal. Not satisfying, but the sequence seemed to invigorate New Orleans, as the offense found its rhythm in the two-minute drive at the end of the first half to take a 10-7 lead at halftime after a touchdown pass from Winston to the inevitably awesome Alvin Kamara.

The Saints’ defense would then go into full domination mode over the Seahawks, with the only setback coming in the third quarter via a fumble by tight end Adam Trautman in New Orleans’ territory that resulted in Seattle gaining zero yards and converting a 50-yard field goal to tie the game at 10.

New Orleans would eventually find some success on offense late in the fourth quarter, driving down to the Seahawks’ 6-yard line, but settling for a field goal and taking a 13-10 lead with 1:56 left in the game.

The Saints’ defense would then shut the door on the Seahawks, sacking Geno Smith twice on the final drive, once by Malcolm Jenkins and then by Demario Davis who had a monster game. New Orleans would win 13-10, the kind of victories that were once unthinkable in NOLA, but we all better get used to it: the 2021 Saints are a defensive team first.


Beignets and Café au Lait Awards

Fresh Beignets and Hot Café au Lait: Demario Davis

This section cannot begin with another player. Davis reportedly spoke with the ESPN MNF crew in their pre-game meetings and told them that the Seahawks wouldn’t be able to run the ball, and that once that was accomplished, New Orleans would shut down the passing game. It didn’t start well, when DK Metcalf ran along the sideline and took advantage of a slip by Marshon Lattimore to catch an 84-yard touchdown. Well, the Seahawks would only throw for 83 yards the rest of the game. For the entirety of the game, Seattle rushed 28 times for a 3.2 average and only 90 total yards and no touchdowns. Davis was a big reason why: he led both teams with 10 total tackles, seven of them solo. He also had two of the Saints’ five sacks in the game, and added four tackles for loss for the fun of it. The cheery on the cake was how Davis singlehandedly sealed the victory for New Orleans, sacking Geno Smith on 3rd-and-18 as the Seahawks were trying to mount a desperation drive to tie the game. On the ensuing 4th-and-28, Davis nearly got himself an interception, but broke up the pass that put the Saints’ offense in the victory formation. Mes respects, Monsieur Davis!

More Fresh Beignets and Hot Café au Lait: Alvin Kamara

New Orleans’ offense desperately needs Michael Thomas to heal from whatever voodoo ankle injury he is suffering from and return to the lineup. In the meantime, someone get an ice-tub for Alvin Kamara, because he currently IS the Saints’ offense. Yes, the capitalization was on purpose. Kamara has seen his touches increase dramatically this season, something that has been exacerbated by the absence of Thomas and fellow running back Tony Jones Jr. On Monday night, AK41 caught 10 passes for 128 yards and a touchdown and rushed 20 times for 51 yards. That is 30 touches in a game in which the Saints had 68 offensive plays! While the rushing average was not great (2.6), Kamara’s mere presence on the field and his ability to fall forward or make defenders miss is invaluable on nearly every play. Without him the Saints would not be 4-2 right now and within striking distance of the 6-1 Tampa Bay Buccaneers.


What’s Next?

Speak of the Devil and he shows up in his pirate ship! Next Sunday afternoon, the Tampa Bay Bucs descend on the Caesars Superdome armed with bad intentions. The game will be at 3:25 PM CT, and will feature the Tom Brady’s second regular season visit to the Superdome as a Buccaneer. The first one, as you may recall, was a 34-23 win by the Saints in the on September 13, 2020. The last game between the two teams at the site however was a different story, as the Bucs and Brady humbled the Saints in a 30-20 win in the divisional round of the playoffs. Let’s just say that the Bucs’ welcome to NOLA by the fans figures to be loud and hostile. Exactly the way it should be.

Poll

How are you feeling after the Saints’ win in Seattle?

This poll is closed

  • 22%
    Encouraged by how strong the defense is.
    (69 votes)
  • 16%
    Discouraged by how inefficient the offense still is.
    (49 votes)
  • 31%
    Cautiously hopeful that the offense will get better.
    (96 votes)
  • 28%
    An offense this anemic won’t cut it against teams like the Bucs
    (85 votes)
  • 1%
    I’m feeling like devouring five double cheeseburgers. Post-win routine.
    (4 votes)
303 votes total Vote Now

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