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Beignets and Café au Lait: Saints Right the Ship, Head Home

A 28-13 win over the Pats in New England and all is right in the world again.

New Orleans Saints v New England Patriots
FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - SEPTEMBER 26: Quarterback Jameis Winston #2 of the New Orleans Saints warms up before the game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on September 26, 2021 in Foxborough, Massachusetts.
Photo by Elsa/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?

In the post-game interview, Saints’ safety Malcolm Jenkins stated that the strength of this Saints’ team is the defense. When is the last time you heard that about New Orleans in the Sean Payton era? If you can’t recall ever hearing that, well you are not alone, because neither do I. In yesterday’s 28-13 victory over the Patriots in Foxboro, and albeit against a rookie quarterback in Mac Jones, the Saints’ defense was back to being the menacing unit we saw in week one against the Green Packers and Aaron Rodgers. It greatly helped that starting cornerbacks Marshon Lattimore (who had a pick) and C.J. Gardner-Johnson were back on the field after sitting out the game against the Panthers last week. Although they only sacked Jones twice, the Saints hit the Pats’ quarterback over eight times, hurried him more than 15 times and picked him off three times, including a pick six by the aforementioned Malcolm Jenkins. New England’s first three possessions all resulted in a three-and-out, and the Patriots rushed the ball 17 times for 2.9 yards-per-rush (49 total). The Saints’ defense was so successful against the run that the Patriots dropped back to pass 51 times with a rookie quarterback.

In a transition season going from 15 years of Drew Brees to Jameis Winston at quarterback, the Saints could not ask for a better way to manage Winston as he settles into the job than to have a stellar defensive unit lead their usually offense-leaning team.


Beignets and Café au Lait Awards

Hot Beignets and Hot Delicious Café au Lait: Marshon Lattimore

Defensive backs and wide receivers are often believed to be made of the same stuff: They are the lean, fast guys who play on the outside and make it all about themselves. The Deion Sanders, Darrelle Revis, Randy Moss and, gasp...Michael Thomas of the world. When it comes to cornerbacks in particular, they are also not considered to be all that tough, will cover all day, but when it comes to tackling, not so much. Well, that is not Saints’ cornerback Marshon Lattimore. Fresh off thumb surgery to repair a damaged ligament, Lattimore missed only one game and was back in action yesterday sporting a protective cast on his right hand. As if that wasn’t boss enough, Lattimore led the Saints in total tackles with 10 (ahead of Demario Davis, who had 8). He also led the team in solo tackles with 8, one more than who else but Demario Davis (7). Lattimore put a cherry on top of his performance with a fourth quarter interception of Mac Jones to close the game out. My hat off to you sir!

Stale Beignets, Zero Café au Lait: Aldrick Rosas.

Well, it was a pleasure knowing you mister Rosas, best of luck in your future endeavors! With the Saints’ regular placekicker Wil Lutz recovering from injury, New Orleans signed Aldrick Rosas to take his place in the interim. While he has been efficient on kickoffs (12 touchbacks out of 14 kickoffs), Rosas is now 1-of-3 in field goal attempts. After making a 44-yard field goal in week one against Green Bay, Rosas did not attempt a field goal against Carolina in Charlotte. Then came yesterday, when he missed both of his field goal attempts in Foxboro, including the near-unforgivable for an NFL kicker, a 36-yard attempt when the Saints were leading by a tenuous 7-0 margin in the second quarter. Rosas had already missed a 52-yarder in the first quarter. Knowing how impatient Sean Payton can be with placekickers, it wouldn’t be all that surprising to see some kickers descend on the Saints’ facility for workouts this week.


What’s Next?

After being nomads for almost an entire month, the Saints will finally return home to New Orleans and play their first game in the newly-minted Caesars Superdome against the New York Giants (0-3) at 12 PM CT this coming Sunday. The Giants lost a close 17-14 decision to the Atlanta Falcons yesterday, and will be looking to win their first game of the season. New Orleans on the other hand will welcome the sights and sounds of a home-game with a full crowd for the first time in over a year, and the chance to improve their record to 3-1.

Poll

Did you expect the Saints to win in New England yesterday?

This poll is closed

  • 35%
    Yes, I had no doubt. Saints are good and these aren’t your Pats of old.
    (152 votes)
  • 57%
    I’d be lying if I said yes, but I was cautiously optimistic.
    (251 votes)
  • 4%
    Honestly, after Carolina I thought they would get blown out.
    (21 votes)
  • 2%
    I always expect a win when eating a quarter pounder burger with cheese.
    (9 votes)
433 votes total Vote Now

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