The New Orleans Saints put together what seemed like their most complete performance of the year to get them back to .500 on the season. While doing so they would end the New York Giants 3-game win streak with QB Tommy Devito. With the win, the Saints are still in a tie for first place in the NFC South but with just the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the Falcons fell to the Panthers yesterday. All hope is still alive for this team as far as playoffs are concerned but before we get there, let’s talk about how the team secured this win against New York.
On the offensive side of the ball, the team started off a little slow only scoring once in their first 4 possessions but did have a handful of positive plays which gave some hope for success in the second half.
QB Derek Carr and co. emphatically answered in half number two, leading the team to three scoring drives in a row (2 touchdowns, 1 field goal) to complete what was a stellar day for the QB. Carr seemed to play his best game yesterday completing 23/28 of his passes for 218 yards and 3 touchdowns. This all without his top two WRs Chris Olave and Michael Thomas. Very impressive day for him.
This is Derek Carr's first 3-TD game as a Saint.— Mike Triplett (@MikeTriplett) December 17, 2023
In the run game, the team averaged only 3.1 ypc on the day but were able to rip off some nice runs with RB Alvin Kamara who seemed a tackle away from breaking on multiple times. Kamara would finish as the Saints leading receiver and rusher combining for over 100 yards from scrimmage, eclipsing that mark for the 6th time this year. He would also become the 16th RB in NFL history to have 1000+ scrimmage yards in his first 7 seasons. A great feat.
Alvin Kamara just reached 1,000 yards from scrimmage for the season!— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) December 17, 2023
He becomes just the 16th RB in #NFL history to have 1,000+
scrimmage yds in each of their first 7 seasons (8 are in HOF) pic.twitter.com/iE3XSli2St
Before we get to the defense, we’ve got to give a big shout out to the tight ends this week as all of them made pivotal plays in this game being down a couple of receivers. Juwan Johnson made some strides after some struggles during the year catching a touchdown and making a really nice catch early on, and how about Jimmy Graham?! For the third week in a row, Jimmy Graham finds the end zone. Is it safe to say the Saints have solved their redzone woes? Sure, seems like they have the past couple weeks. 9/10 in the red area the last three weeks is a tremendous improvement.
Defensively, can’t say enough about how they played especially against a team with a mobile QB and a team that has an amazing talent in RB Saquon Barkley. The team held the Giants to only 60 rushing yards on the day, limiting Barkley to only 14 yards on nine carries. Through the air, the Saints barely gave Devito a chance getting to him a total of 7 times. When the Giants did throw, the Saints played their sticky man coverage which didn’t give Devito any room to fit any passes in. They’d finish with only 133 yards (net) passing. Players that stepped up big were LB Demario Davis (10 tackles, 2 TFLs and a sack), DE Tanoh Kpassagnon (6 tackles and 3 sacks) and DT Bryan Bresee (3 tackles and 2 sacks).
Demario Davis isn’t a fan of Italian— Barstool NOLA (@BarstoolNOLA) December 17, 2023
Special teams also played a huge factor in this game as well. Kicker Blake Grupe nailed a crucial 50-yarder to put the Saints up 11 instead of keeping the game within a score. Punter Lou Hedley also played a great game nailing 2 kicks inside the 20 pinning the Giants back a couple of times.
Lou Hedley's punt was chef's kiss— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) December 17, 2023
: FOX pic.twitter.com/WCnUZoQKsZ
Overall, just a great team effort and it was great to see. They just have to continue and not let off the gas Thursday Night against a high scoring Rams team. Hopefully they have figured out what works for them and can finish the last three weeks strong on their quest to make the playoffs.