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Sep

24

BIG WIN BUT A BIG ISSUE DAMPENS CELEBRATION

TRIO OF PLAYERS SAVING SEASON SO FAR
by Gus Kattengell
@gkatt_17

What a Monday right! Saints fans know that a Monday following a Black and Gold win can be felt throughout the Crescent City and beyond. When that win comes against the dreaded rival Atlanta Falcons it’s an even sweeter Monday.

The 43-37 win in overtime will go down as one of the best games in the rivalry but aslo of the most important for the Saints. There is lies the problem. The big win doesn’t erase one very big problem. The Saints defense stinks. That’s putting it nicely. Heading into the Monday night game in Tampa between the Steelers and Bucs, the Saints have the 4th ranked offense in the league averaging 428 yards per game and the 30th ranked defense giving up 421 yards per game.

Once again the Saints defense has become the magic elixir for opposing quarterbacks, 10 touchdowns and just 1 interception in the games so far this season and a ton of yard. Tampa’s Ryan Fitzpatrick was 21 of 28 as he threw for 417 yards to go with 4 touchdowns. . Tyrod Taylor for Cleveland was 22 for 30 for 246 yards and a touchdown. Matt Ryan went 26 of 35 for 374 yards and 5 touchdowns.

Do the math and three quarterbacks have thrown for 1,037 yards to go with those 10 touchdowns.

The scary thing is this Saints fans that the Saints have played well enough on offense to be perhaps 3-0 and also have played bad enough to be 0-3. What’s remarkable to me is in two division games the offense score 40 and 43 points respectively and could have easily lost both games. Think about that for a second. You’ve played two division games and scored 83 points in them and could be 0-2 in the division. Imagine if not one, not two but three players weren’t having record starts to the season?

Saints head coach Sean Payton has to be concerned and has to attack this week in the same manner that the team appeared to have attacked the offseason. All in. There is only so much, let’s take a look at the tape that can fix this. What’s wrong? Why does seemingly the same secondary seem so lost this season? Sunday the defensive line finally got some pressure. Cam Jordan had a pair of sacks and Marcus Davenport got his first sack of his career. Demario Davis led the team in tackles and A.J. Klein made a huge play on third down at the end of the game to force a punt by Atlanta to secure overtime. So the guys down low and the backers made plays. The backend of the defense was atrocious. Over the top plays, miscommunication and who knows what else.

The Saints had 534 yards of offense on Sunday Saints fans and NEEDED EVERY ONE OF THEM OR THEY LOSE! They had 475 in the opener but LOST because they GAVE UP 529 yards.

THE most important thing this week for Payton is simple. He needs to find answers. Temporary and then hopefully permanent because if not it’ll be another wasted year by a half of fame quarter back and pair of offensive players that are setting records. 30th in the league on defense won’t get you a playoff spot.

BREESUS THE GREAT

Brees in the season opener was 37 of 45 for 439 yards and 3 touchdowns to go with no interceptions. Brees on Sunday was 39 of 49 for 396 yards and 3 touchdowns and no interceptions. So in two division games Brees has 76 completions on 94 attempts. That’s a completion percentage of 80 percent. Add the 6 touchdowns and no interceptions there’s efficient and then there’s greatness. That’s just ridiculous.

To me the amazing thing of that is that he is completing 80 percent of his passes when there is no room for error. The defense has played so poorly in the two divisional games that if Brees DOESN’T play the way he did or throws one interception the game changes. He’s making ALL the right decisions, time and time again, keeping plays alive, stepping in to the pocket like he did for the touchdown pass to Cameron Meredith. It’s incredible.

More so the man is money. Luke Johnson tweeted this observation on Monday. The Saints have scored 48 points in the 4th quarter this season and Brees has been dialed in. The numbers 25 for 31 for 257 yards 4 touchdowns for a passer rating of 140.8 and no interceptions. Again, the wild thing is that as easy and they should be 3-0 they could be 0-3.

THOMAS IS A SUPERHERO

Wide receiver Michael Thomas is also having a ridiculous start. Thomas set the record on Sunday for most receptions through the first three games of the season with 38. The amazing part is the 38 catches have come on 40 targets. Week 1 Thomas was targeted 17 times and had 16 receptions for 180 yards and TD. The receptions and yards were a career high. Week 2 saw Thomas have 13 targets and 12 catches for 89 yards and two touchdowns. Sunday was a perfect 10 targets for 10 receptions day and so all total on the season he has 398 yards on 38 receptions.

KAMARA IS ALSO SUPERHUMAN

Drew Brees and Michael Thomas are having great starts but so is running back Alvin Kamara is ALSO having a great start. Sunday his 190 yards from scrimmage (66 rushing, 124 receiving) was the highest total-yard game for him. To open the season he rushed for 2 TDs and caught another, he had 9 receptions overall against Tampa for 112 yards. Kamara on Sunday was the team’s leader in receptions with 15 and got 124 yards out of those grabs. He has 141 yards rushing on 37 carries combined in three games to go with 289 yards receiving for a total of 430 yards from scrimmage.

UP NEXT

The Saints play on the road for the second week in a row as they will take on the New York Giants. Eli Manning and the G-Men went into Houston and kept the Texans winless as they win 27-22. Manning was an efficient 25 of 29 for 297 yards to go with two touchdowns and no interceptions. Rookie running back Saquon Barkley helped out gaining 82 yards on 17 carries and a touchdown and had 5 receptions for 35 yards. Former LSU Tiger Odell Beckham Jr. hauled in 9 grabs for 109 yards . Manning was sacked four times.

Kick off at MetLife Stadium is set for 3:25 central.

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