The New Orleans Saints’ Week 8 matchup against the Indianapolis Colts resulted in a 38-27 win for New Orleans. The Saints found themselves down 17-7 early but made a comeback and started to pull away in the second half. This led to them winning, ending up with a 4-4 record and tied for the division lead. With that, we continue our weekly series by choosing one player who broke out in the previous game, and going over why their contributions were so critical to the game.
This week, we have a player who has proven to be a valuable piece to the WR room for the Saints since last season. So, we have selected wide receiver Rashid Shaheed as the breakout player of the game, and here’s why:
Consistently a big play threat
This has been more and more obvious as the season has gone on, but Rashid Shaheed is a threat any time he is on the field. However, on Sunday, this became even more apparent, as Rashid Shaheed had a game not too far unlike the notorious Randy Moss’ 3 catch 163-yard 3 touchdown game years ago.
Rashid had the type of game that completely changed how the offense performed single-handedly. He was the first Saints receiver to have 150 receiving yards on 3 or less catches since Keith Poole, and Eric Martin before him. There have only been three Saints receivers to ever accomplish that, and we were able to witness that this past weekend.
His last reception of the day was my personal favorite, as he was able to put the game away with this catch. On 3rd and 13, from the Saints 29-yard line, with 3:00 left in the 4th quarter, the Saints desperately needed to get a first down, as at that point it was still a one-possession game (35-27). Shaheed broke away on a deep route (surprise surprise) and brought in a 51-yard reception, bringing the Saints into field goal range at the Colts 19-yard line. This type of performance was absolutely worthy of being this week’s breakout player.
With this article, and with such a positive win, there are also some players worth noting who were not chosen for this. While they had good games in their own right, they may also either be already established as successful this season or just had a slightly lesser impact on the overall game. This week, those players are:
- Jordan Howden - S - Howden was asked to step into the starting safety role in place of Marcus Maye this week, and to be frank, looked pretty exceptional. He had 8 tackles (no missed tackles), no penalties, had a PBU that was astounding for a rookie, and only allowed 2 receptions. The downfall was that he did allow a touchdown, and 45 yards on those 2 receptions. Regardless, he played a great game, and I will be discussing him in a future article this week.
- Derek Carr - QB - In all honesty, this may have been the first game for Carr in a Saints jersey where he looked great throughout the matchup. He went 19/27 passing (70.4%), for 310 passing yards (11.5 average), 2 touchdowns, and a 133.3 passer efficiency rating. It is good to see him finally have a game where he looked to be what the Saints are paying for.
- Ryan Ramczyk - RT - Ramczyk had a great day for New Orleans, and really looked like his old self. Through 65 snaps, he allowed 0 sacks, 0 pressures, and had 0 penalties for a 100% blocking effectiveness rate. After missing last week due to injury, Ramczyk really stepped up for the Saints offensive line.