Oh happy day! What a great ending to our Thanksgiving holiday. The Saints were able to gobble up the Falcons with a 26-18 victory Thursday night. The score was definitely a lot closer than it should have been. Nonetheless, the black and gold had this battle wrapped up before the fourth quarter. They also clinched the division for the third straight year. Here are the biggest factors that led to another Saints victory:
Mr. Do It All
Taysom Hill is a straight up football god. The man can do pretty much anything you ask him to do. He blocks a punt on the opening drive for the Falcons. Then he scores the first touchdown of the game on a Drew Brees’ shovel pass. Finally, he scores a rushing touchdown in the second quarter. The only thing he did not do was throw a touchdown pass. Hill was a huge x-factor and should continue to be down the stretch.
Sack Dinners And Apple Turnovers For Everyone
Last year, the Saints defense destroyed the Falcons offense. They got to Matt Ryan six times and forced four turnovers. This year, it was more of the same. They sacked Ryan nine times with Cam Jordan accounting for four of them. Marcus Davenport, Trey Hendrickson and Sheldon Rankins each at two sacks a piece. Demario Davis and Craig Robertson also had a sack each. To top it off, they forced three turnovers on consecutive drives. Shy Tuttle made an incredible interception and then stiffed armed Ryan for the best meme play of the year. CJ Gardner-Johnson would get the next pick and Vonn Bell would recover a fumble the drive after.
Speaking Of Apples
Eli Apple had probably his worst game of the season. He was flagged for three separate pass interference calls that extended drives for the Falcons. It was definitely frustrating to watch because they were all avoidable. Also given that Julio Jones did not play, it makes them even more embarrassing. The Saints need to play more disciplined because they could have proved more costly in this game.
Brees and company once again had some woes continuing from last week. This time it was dropped passes and missed opportunities. Jared Cook and Ted Ginn Jr. both had potential touchdowns go through their hands. Alvin Kamara even had a couple missed chances himself. Overall, the offense was shut down after halftime and this game should have been a blowout. The protection was damn near perfect all game but the execution was majorly flawed. Hopefully this problem does not continue for the final quarter of the season.
Expect The Unexpected
It seems like the special teams unit has its ups and downs. They blocked a punt against the Bears only to give up a kickoff return touchdown later on. This time they block a punt on the opening drive but give up three onside kicks. You read that right: THREE! The worst part is the first one was actually called back. Sean Payton was absolutely livid and the Who Dat Nation damn near had a heart attack. They need to clean it up in a hurry before someone gets canned
We Appreciate You
Just want to give props to Wil Lutz. He was perfect on the night with four field goals and two extra points. We cannot say enough about this guy. The Saints really owe the Ravens for sending him our way. He is living up to his new contract and keeping fans at ease. Salute to one of the best in the game!