The New Orleans Saints’ Week 9 matchup against the Chicago Bears resulted in a 24-17 win for New Orleans. The Saints found themselves tied with the Bears at various points throughout the game, but the defense stepped up in the second half to take this win for New Orleans. This win puts the Saints at 5-4 on the season and gives them sole possession of the NFC South 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 probably the easiest decision we have had to make so far this season with this article. This week, we have selected cornerback Paulson Adebo as the breakout player of the game, and here’s why:
Unmatched impact on the outcome of the game
Paulson Adebo simply put was the primary reason the New Orleans Saints won this game. He was responsible for three of the five turnovers the Saints forced on the day and filled the stat sheet with a high level of production. For any who enjoy PFF statistics, he ended the day with a 92.8 coverage grade, 79.5 tackling grade, and 74.7 run defense grade, which are all well above average. He also had the second-highest overall defensive grade of the week (92.9) behind only Kenny Moore (93.2) who also had two interceptions.
As I mentioned, Adebo made an impact all over the field, and that shows in the stats. He ended the day with two interceptions, a forced fumble with the recovery, seven tackles, and three pass deflections, with 0 missed tackles and 0 penalties. He is also the first player with an interception, forced fumble, and fumble recovery in a game since Charles Woodson in 2009.
A career day for Paulson Adebo— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) November 5, 2023
2 INTs, 1 FF, 1 FR, 7 TKLS, 3 passes defended
Simply put, Adebo was amazing. This game could have had a very different outcome without his play, but he showed up and pushed this team across the finish line. It is also worth noting that he absolutely should receive the NFC defensive player of the week award without question (it has not been announced as of the writing of this article).
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:
- Taysom Hill - QB/TE/RB/FB/WR/ST - The cycle of Taysom Hill continues as he does things we haven’t seen in a long time. He ended the day 1/1 passing for 3 yards and a touchdown, with 11 rushes for 52 yards (4.7 YPC) and 4 receptions for 13 yards and an additional touchdown. While we have come to expect this from Taysom, he has played extremely well regardless.
- Carl Granderson - DE - These types of performances from Granderson each week are becoming less of a “breakout” and more of a rising stardom. He ended the day with 5 tackles, 7 pressures, and a tackle for loss in another very solid game. He has already surpassed his career high in pressures (36) and sacks (5.5) with eight games left.
- The entirety of the offensive line - I don’t like to put whole position groups in these articles as it is very rare that a whole unit performs well. I will make an exception. This offensive line went up against Yannick Ngakoue, Montez Sweat, and T.J. Edwards who have a combined 53 pressures and 12 sacks on the season. The Saints did not let up a single sack on the day, and only gave up 9 pressures across every offensive lineman (some may have counted towards more than one lineman, so this number could be lower). They were also not penalized at all on the day. An exceptional performance.