Some strange things going on in the NFL this Sunday, another tie, kickers missing Field Goals and Extra Points here there and everywhere but most of all, the Saints NOT going 0-2 to start the season. This was also thanks to those crazy kickers having a snake in their boots or something this week.
It was pretty by any stretch, but a win is a win, the record book still reads 1-1 not “the browns kicker missed about 40 kicks” and 1. Not a fun game to watch, more relief than anything when that final kick went wide but job done. We go again in Atlanta week 3.
I just want to do a quick breakdown of the Saints Defense after this one.
This team is a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde, last week the Offense racked up 40 and still lost because of the horrific defensive showing, this week a clutch interception by “The boy of ASC” (New nickname – patent pending) Marcus Williams changed the momentum of the game which then lead the Saints to drive forward and score a go-ahead TD. This pick was the first turnover of the Saints season and boy was it needed.
The defense had showed up before that moment too. Stuffing the run multiple times, getting pressure on the opposing quarterback Tyrod Taylor and even recording some sacks (3 in the game). The first half was better than the 2nd, holding the Browns to just two Field Goals and 6 points in the half. The Browns went more pass heavy in the 2nd and especially when they had to as they had fallen behind this showed the surprising holes that still remain in the defensive unit.
Cornerbacks. What is going on with Marshon Lattimore? Is this the same player as last season? He doesn’t look like it. Maybe it’s because he set such high standards last season he is struggling to live up to it this year, I dunno. He got burned for pace multiple times last week by Mike Evans and this week too, we need him to show up for the Falcons game with their receiving corps to deal with.
The coverage in the secondary was poor at best, giving the Browns best receiver Jarvis Landry wide open spaces to make some key catches on 3rd down, did they mis-read the field? Landry is not the type of guy you want to leave open in the middle of the field. Ken Crawley was improved (he couldn’t be much worse) with some nice tackles too. That absolute beast of a play to Antonio Callaway for the Browns game leveling score (XP missed thankfully) was one play that I felt we couldn’t do too much about, it was just superb QB-WR play, that happens but hopefully not every week.
Let’s talk about some good bits. Demario Davis was EVERYWHERE, was there two of him on the field? Recording 9 tackles, 6 assists and a Forced Fumble (which wasn’t recovered). Loved his energy he brought to the team, more good things to come from him.
Same with AJ Klien also with 9 tackles (3 assists) being a big help in stuffing the run game and the short pass game too. Cam Jordan was, well, Cam Jordan, getting another 2 sacks to his name. The pass rush was so much better than before, we need to keep building on this for the Falcons game, put Ryan under duress and hit him early. Getting pressure early will help the secondary get into their stride too, Lattimore seems tired, short of confidence, some early big plays on the road will help him so much.
Maybe we can put it down to a slow start, maybe we can put it down to over confidence, the whole “prove them right” slogan being something I wasn’t overly keen on and still am not.
We need that 4th Quarter offense from both games with the 1st half defense from this game to show up for the whole game in Atlanta otherwise it might be a long night for the Saints, especially in the secondary. Who knows, a divisional game between two big rivals, anything can happen.
Maybe we can get everyone’s favorite player Taysom Hill on Defense too. Loved when he lined up as the QB and Brees went as a wideout, shame they called Time Out. Spoilsports.
Plenty of work to do between now and then. Keep grinding, make the right adjustments and go again.