The New Orleans Saints fought their way to a 22-17 win yesterday in a game that probably shouldn’t have been played. There were some high moments for key players along with some downs for others. The team played a very sloppy and undisciplined game offensively, however the defense pulled through when they needed them too.
Let's break down some of the highlights and “low”lights from this game, and what players put the fans on notice.
Maybe the greatest positive we saw in this game was the arrival of Jaylon Smith. Smith quickly made his presence known with two huge plays on a couple of third downs to force a Los Angeles Chargers punt.
On this third and six, you can see Smith drop into his zone and patiently read the delay settle by the running back. Once he sees it, he quickly reacts and delivers a huge blow short of the first down marker.
Two drives later, he makes another big third down stop, this time in coverage. You see him quickly change direction and use his speed to make the break-up.
It looks like the Saints have found their linebacker #3 in Smith.
Aside from players like Kendre Miller and Payton Turner who showed flashes in this game, another player to get excited about is Malcolm Roach. He made a handful of plays in the backfield on Sunday and has surely been looking like a key guy on this Saints front seven.
Here you can see Roach gets a great arm extension on the lineman to throw him by and chase down the back for a loss.
On this play Roach uses his leverage to anchor down through a double team to stop the running back to a minimal gain.
- Jake Haener improved from last week
- Shaq Davis came alive
- Bryan Breese continued to flash
- Jontre Kirklin made a few nice plays
- Lynn Bowden looked good all around
- Blake Grupe and Wil Lutz is getting interesting
- Issac Yiadom evened out the bad with some good
- Nephi Sewell coming along well
The biggest negative that came in this game was the insane number of penalties that the offense committed. The team surrendered a whopping 141 yards in penalties Sunday, which is never a recipe for winning games.
As it pertains to players whose stock went down, Bryan Edwards is the first one that comes to mind. Edwards was targeted four times in the game and didn’t haul in a single catch but that might not have even been the worst part of his performance. He also was the perpetrator in getting two touchdowns called back.
On this play, he gets called for pass interference after driving the defensive back into the endzone.
A few plays later, he gets caught in a similar situation but now he blatantly bumps a Chargers defender trying to set a natural pick resulting in interference once again.
It hasn’t been looking so good for Bryan Edwards lately, and this definitely doesn’t help.
One player that has looked really good in camp until this point was tight end Lucas Krull. Someone who has made a handful of plays throughout the summer. However, in this game he did not take advantage of his many opportunities. Krull managed to haul in only 3 of his 8 targets with a few of those being crucial ones.
Here are a couple of those targets.
On this play, Krull runs a great route, sticking the defender with a quick jab to separate from the defensive back. Haener then throws a perfect pass right into Krull hands and has it knocked out at the last second for what would’ve been a touchdown.
Plays like this can make or break a player's chances at making the roster. This hurt Krull’s chances mightily.
The Saints attempted this exact same throw to Krull earlier in the game as well.
The result sadly was the same. Knocked out again by the defensive back.
Krull will have to redeem himself these next couple weeks to potentially earn a spot on this roster in some fashion.
- Trevor Penning in pass pro was shaky
- Second team offensive line once again
- Jameis Winston, very inconsistent
- Isaiah Foskey needs a ton of work...
- Troy Pride Jr. had a little bit of trouble in a few areas but was bailed out some, also had PI called on him
We will see the Saints return to the Superdome this Sunday to take on the Houston Texans new regime. We’ll look to keep you updated on a bunch of these guys, as many of them continue to fight to make the 53-man roster.