The New Orleans Saints offense... Yes, the offense, was the highlight of their performance on Sunday where they were able to squeeze out a much-needed victory against the Indianapolis Colts. The offense scored a team-high 38 points to overcome some early scores that the Colts were awarded.
Derek Carr and the offense were for the most part very efficient throughout the game. The QB was kept clean all day as the team only allowed one sack (turned fumble) and was able to find balance and rhythm early on. The team was able to put up 21 points in the first half finishing those scoring drives in 7, 8 and 2 plays. They were also much improved on third down compared to a week ago converting on half of their attempts (6-12) helping them sustain drives. What may have been the biggest shocker was how much better they were in the red area. They were able to finish 3 of 4 in that area of the field and made scoring seem effortless by putting the ball in the hands of Taysom Hill (2 TDs) and Alvin Kamara (2 TDs).
The Saints' 511 yards total offense are their most since they racked up 583 yards in a 52-33 rout of the Vikings on Christmas Day in 2020, aka the Alvin Kamara day.— Jeff Duncan (@JeffDuncan_) October 29, 2023
Through the air, the team threw for over 300 yards for the 3rd consecutive week. QB Derek Carr threw for 310 yards and two touchdowns while completing 19/27 passes. Contributing to almost half of that by himself was WR Rashid Shaheed, who exploded today with 3 catches for 153 yards and a score. With longs of 58, 44 and 51, Shaheed single handedly put the Saints in excellent field position all day to put points on the board. WR’s Michael Thomas and Chris Olave also played an important role moving the chains consistently throughout the day. Only down we really saw on the WRs today was Olave dropping what looked like a wide-open walk-in touchdown from Carr. Thankfully the team was able to overcome this but opportunities like that cannot afford to be missed.
In the backfield, the team was able to effectively utilize multiple weapons over the course of the game. The group led by RB Alvin Kamara and Everything-Back Taysom Hill, were able to grind out 161 yards on the ground and 3 scores. Kamara and Hill finished the game with over 100 all-purpose yards a piece which looked to create balance in this offense. RB Jamaal Williams was able to crank out some effective runs as well in his limited carries.
Taysom Hill - 9 carries, 63 yards, 2TDs— Chris Rosvoglou (@RosvoglouReport) October 29, 2023
Alvin Kamara - 17 carries, 59 yards, 1 TD
Jamaal Williams - 6 carries, 30 yards
Kendre Miller - 3 carries, 10 yards
Love to see it. pic.twitter.com/2WOIFedGxO
If the offense can continue this down the stretch, there is a chance they can get into a little bit of a groove and maybe stack up some wins.
Defensively, this was another week of starting slow allowing 20 points in the first half letting up big runs and committing penalties in crucial situations to keep drives alive. However, they were able to settle in, in the second half once again by allowing only one score during that period of time. The team seemed to have trouble getting off the field on 3rd downs at times during the game especially when the ball was thrown to Colts WR Josh Downs who they didn’t have much of an answer for. As the game went on though, they were able to force some errant throws and get pressure on the QB. DE Carl Granderson, who’s became a regular now, gained another sack and totaled 3 QB hits. Granderson has so far been worth every penny since he signed his deal earlier this year. CB Paulson Adebo came to play as well as he intercepted a pass while deflecting 3 of them also.
Three #Saints defensive career highs from #NOvsIND:— Saints PR (@SaintsPR) October 29, 2023
- DE Carl Granderson matches his season career high in sacks (set in 2022) with 5.5 through the first eight games
- Rookie DB Jordan Howden records a single game career high in tackles with 8
- CB Paulson Adebo notches a single…
Starting fast is something the Saints defense is always used to and counted on to do, these past couple weeks they’ve seemed to let off the gas pedal slightly. Hopefully they can get back to their usual ways in the coming weeks.
On special teams, it was a quiet day for K Blake Grupe as the offense finally put one together today. He ended the day 1/1 on field goal attempts with a long score of 27 yards. Love taking the pressure off of the rookie kicker.
P Lou Hedley on the other hand is becoming extremely concerning as he now averaged 39.5 yards on his 4 kicks. Hedley hasn’t been the guy the team has needed him to be this season and looks to be slowly losing his job as the team's starting punter.
Altogether, a huge relief this week seeing this offense come to life for maybe the first time this season. They showed that they have the capability to be explosive and efficient as a team with the talent that they have on offense. If they can sustain this for the next couple of weeks, along with their light schedule, they can quickly put themselves in a favorable position in not only this division but maybe in the NFC.