The team that never stops fighting...
QB Derek Carr and the offense started off hot scoring on their first possession which would mark the first one of this season. Carr put together one of his best games of the season as he handled pressure extremely well and was able to find open receivers in crucial situations. He’d finish the day with 24/32, 197 yards and 2 TDs. The offense was able to move the ball effectively for much of the game starting 6/8 on third down in the first half. TE Juwan Johnson finally found his groove making a handful of tough, acrobatic catches en route to his 8-catch, 90-yard performance while also scoring. The team was also able to churn out some nice runs as well with RB Alvin Kamara and Jamaal Williams combining for over 100 yards on the ground. All this to go along with 1 sack and no turnovers on the day. The stat line isn’t gaudy, but this offense was as efficient as it needed to be in this one.
Defensively, can’t say enough about the way they responded after last week’s demoralizing performance in LA. This week the team held Bucs QB Baker Mayfield to only 43 yards in the first half alone. The secondary was quick to eliminate WRs Mike Evans and Chris Godwin for almost the entire game. This while also being banged up in the secondary. The same could be said about the run game as well. As a team, the Saints allowed just 57 yards on 15 carries, which forced Mayfield to try to throw his team back into the game. Crucial turnovers after chunk plays sealed the game for the Saints as well. A big Rachaad White run along with a Trey Palmer deep completion were both negated by fumbles forced and recovered by the Saints. This with interceptions by CB Alontae Taylor and S Jonathan Abram didn’t give Tampa an opportunity to get in the endzone for much of the day. Just a stellar, opportunistic performance as a whole.
With the Saints keeping their playoff hopes alive, they have two scenarios in which they can punch their ticket into the postseason next week.
- Win vs. Atlanta & Tampa loss (results in division winner)
- Win vs. Atlanta, Seattle loss & Green Bay loss (results in 7th seed/WC)
These scenarios are pretty unlikely but we’ve seen crazy things happen in the NFL which is why we love it so much.
Can’t wait to see what’s in store for next weekend.