The Saints played their most complete game of the season making plays in all three phases of the game (aside from penalties). In this game, it started out with the defense. New Orleans’ native Tyrann Mathieu took the game into his own hands in the 1st quarter when he returned an interception for a touchdown to set the tone on his side of the ball. The defense would force two more turnovers in this game, another interception and a fumble recovery, which helped keep points off the board for New England. As a whole, the defense allowed just 156 yards on the day and no trips to the endzone. Their best performance of the year.
Offensively, the Saints put together a much better performance than in previous weeks. Scoring 27 points in this game, more than the past two weeks combined. For most of the game, the Saints took advantage of good field position and were able to put points on the board. The team started 3-3 in the red zone Sunday which is something they’ve struggled with mightily with to start the season. The offensive line played a clean game for the most part, only allowing 2 sacks on the day. The run game played a huge role early on as well as closing out the game, totaling 136 yards on the ground and a touchdown. The passing game wasn’t great at times, but it was good enough to put some points up scoring two touchdowns through the air.
Alvin Kamara also became the Saints all-time touchdown leader on his lone touchdown run. The 73rd of his career.
Special teams did their thing today, with some booming punts from rookie Lou Hedley who averaged 43.9 yards per kick on the day with a long of 55. Rookie kicker Blake Grupe also continues to impress connecting on two 50+ yard kicks to prove the team's conviction on him.
All week long, the conversations amongst much of the Saints fan base and local media was about the teams play calling issues that have lasted for several weeks now. Still, I believe there is a ton of room to improve as there were some questionable calls as well as the limited use of play-action, an aspect where they have the players to use it effectively. We did see some creativity, such as the shuffle pass touchdown to Foster Moreau, but there is still a lot of room to grow.
Carr - 18/26 for 183 yards and 2 TDs
Kamara - 22 rushes for 80 yards and a TD, 3 catches for 17 yards
Michael Thomas - 4 catches for 65 yards
Carl Granderson - 4 tackles, 1 sack
Alontae Taylor, Demario Davis - 6 tackles
Tyrann Mathieu, Pete Werner - 1 Interception
Cameron Jordan - .5 sack, fumble recovery
Blake Grupe - 2/2 on FGs with a long of 54, 4/4 on XPs
Lou Hedley - 7 for 307 with a long of 55, 3 inside the 20