The New Orleans Saints started off the season in classic Saints fashion, unwanted drama. Let’s go over the numbers that stood out the most in the 27-26 win over Atlanta.
Defensively, Pete Werner led the way with 13 tackles, including a huge TFL late in the fourth to save the Saints’ hopes of a comeback.
Marcus Maye wasn’t far behind, with nine tackles and a forced fumble. Cam Jordan picked up seven tackles and Demario Davis tallied six.
The offense was essentially nonexistent until the second half, mainly due to no protection from the offensive line. Missed assignments and bad blocking, which was later fixed. OC Pete Carmichael opened up the playbook for Jameis and great things happened - let’s skip to the 4th.
After a quick visit to the injury tent, Jameis proceeded to go 16/17 (16 for 19 if you include two spikes), 213 yards, two TDs and a perfect passer rating in the 4th quarter. Unreal stuff. Jameis finished the day 23/34 for 269 and two TDs. No picks.
Jaboo is now 6-2 as a New Orleans starter, with a 16/3 TD-INT ratio.
#Saints QB Jameis Winston went 16/19 for 213 yards and two touchdowns with a perfect passer rating in the fourth quarter.— Ross Jackson (@RossJacksonNOLA) September 11, 2022
Both touchdowns went to Michael Thomas in the redzone, winning 1-on-1’s against All-Pro CB AJ Terrell. Mike won a couple other routes in the midst of those two touchdowns - in limited snaps, he looked great. We should see his volume ramping up by the week.
Jarvis Landry led the way receiving with 7 catches for 114 yards.
Rookie Chris Olave had just three catches for 41 yards, but they were very timely. Olave also won a 1-on-1 route on a two-point conversion during the 4th quarter rally, a play that seems to have gotten lost in the madness.
Taysom Hill led the team in rushing with four carries for 81 yards and a TD. AK had nine carries for 39 yards; AK also left the game in the second half but says he’s fine, nothing to be worried about.
Will Lutz went 2/3, including the GW 51-yarder. Having the insurance of a top 5 kicker is a feeling that this team missed last year, great to see Lutz back and still himself.
Coming into the game, the Saints had the longest active streak in the NFL without allowing a 100-yard rusher (20 games). Cordarrelle Patterson snapped that streak with 120 yards on 22 carries. Definitely some things to clean up there, and hopefully Adebo returns as soon as possible to bring the secondary to full strength.
New Orleans also did not register a sack on Sunday, something else that has to be cleaned up.
Ultimately the defense bowed up in the second half, keeping the game within striking distance and coming up with stops in a lot of crucial situations.
We saw a sneak peak of how electric this offense will be later in the season. A lot to clean up and even more to be optimistic about. Saints win.
Next up, the Bucs in the dome.