Well, what can I say? What a game! It was highs, lows, frustration, nerve jangling terror and finally huge elation mixed with relief, these Saints sure do like to keep us guessing don’t they.
I’m not gonna lie, I enjoyed the first half a whole lot more than the 2nd, that was some half, I expected a shootout kind of game but nothing on the 1st half levels, we put up some numbers! The Saints got the momentum behind them and kept putting points on the board before halftime including a key stop on a fake field goal (thanks officials) then a big time pick by Anzalone on Goff, you can’t underestimate the importance of scoring off that takeaway, game changer. There wasn’t too much defense on show during this game so I just wanted to do a bit of an offensive breakdown the morning after the night before, or the same day in my case.
It’s getting quite hard to write about Drew Brees these days because I’m running out of words to describe how good he is. There’s a few that come to mind, MVP, GOAT to name a few. He just keeps producing, at the age of 39 he is having one of the best, if not THE BEST seasons of his career (so far…) only throwing 1 pick on the season and racking up a 2336 yards with 18 scores, 76.3% completion and a QBR of 120.6. Those are numbers. In this one he racked up 4 of those 18 TDs for 346 yards and a QBR of 137. NUMBERS! Brees hit 7 receivers and had a cheeky 16 rushing including a lovely dive for a 1st down later in the game. Sure the O-line have been unreal, more on that later but his accuracy is sublime, of the incompletions that Brees had, most of them were drops (Taysom Hill looking at you…..I jest) with only 2-3 passes under or overthrown by no.9. Brees deserves at least another shot at a Superbowl and he can be the architect of that run to Atlanta. Never change Drew.
Hello? Yes? The Endzone, it’s Michael Thomas, I’m here and sealing the game for the Saints, 15 yard penalty, worth it. I wonder who he was actually calling? All on an old school flip phone, classic. Marcus Peters you have been added to the list of people who can’t guard Mike. A career day and a franchise record for CGM who racked up a crazy 211 yards receiving off 12 catches including that 72 yard touchdown strike to put the game to bed. Thomas burned the Rams corners, especially Peters on multiple occasions making some big time catches, under pressure at times and the Brees/Thomas partnership flourished once again.
I feel the situation with Mike is similar to the one with Brees as in not getting the recognition they deserve, people always talk about Antonio Brown or Odell Beckham before Thomas but maybe with the big numbers he keeps on getting the league will take stock of this stud.
I do get the theory that we will need to target other receivers more frequently down the stretch to keep opponents guessing, especially in potential playoff games but throwing to Mike clearly worked against the Rams over and over, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. SHHHHHHH *Flexes Biceps*
Another one. Alvin Kamara. In a game where Kamara scored 3 TDs and got 116 yards from scrimmage it’s strange he isn’t the most talked about guy, that’s just how good the Saints were on offense against the Rams. The team from LA had no answers for Kamara in the first half, he was everywhere rushing, catching, ballin’. With 2 rushing scores (11 and 1 yard respectively) sprinkled with a receiving TD of 16 yards. AK41 has become the Saints go to guy, the no.1 RB and the no.2 WR, he seems to produce every week. The Rams did make some adjustments to deal with him in the 2nd period but his damage was done plus he still picked up some more yards including the 1st down on 4th&1 for the Saints to kneel their way to sweet, sweet victory.
Benjamin Watson rolled back the years too with a nice little game for 62 yards on 3 catches including a 32 yard grab for a score following the missed field goal. Let’s have some more of that the real Big Ben, he is pretty clutch for the Saints and hope it can continue.
I liked Tre’Quan Smith’s grab for his score too, a lovely catch from the rookie. That’s Smith’s 3rd catch for a touchdown off just 12 receptions overall. It will be interesting to see if we use him more and more with defenders attempting to guard Mike Thomas with about 18 players around him.
Mark Ingram had a rare off day including a fumble but it’s okay, he will come good again, I’ve got a good feeling about him for next week’s game, watch this space.
Finally the Offensive Line, these guys good. The Saints O-line managed to hold one of the best pass rush defenses in the NFL to a total of 0 sacks, nada, zilch. They are looking better every week, protecting Brees, creating the holes for runners, making key blocks, the list goes on. I’m a big believer in keeping the same unit together if injuries allow, then they all know where the others going to be, like the players on a foosball table, operating as one unit together. Armstead, Peat, Unger, Warford and Ramczyk. Remember these names.
So the Saints go to 7-1 with 7 straight wins under their belts defeating a previously unbeaten team in the process.
The Black and Gold now march on to Cincinnati to play the Bengals. If the offense can keep rolling like it is then I can’t see beyond another win, let’s just hope the defense is tightened up and do not underestimate Cinci as they can sure score some points too. Maybe another shootout incoming. I’m expecting to see a bit more on the ground for Mark and Alvin with the game being outside and all that, weather looking a bit on the chilly side.
Fantastic game, fantastic team and we do it all again next week.