If I told you the Saints would be 3-0 without Drew Brees, you would call me crazy. But that is exactly what they have done after a 31-24 victory against the Buccaneers. Once again, this squad is proving to be a complete team and a serious threat in the league. Furthermore, Teddy Bridgewater had his best game yet in the black and gold. Let us look into the film study and see how the Saints came away with their first division win.
Teddy Two Gloves x2
Bridgewater had the game of his life. He finished with 314 yards and four touchdowns while completing 26 of his 34 passes. The only flaw was interception that was in and out of the hands of Alvin Kamara and lead to the Bucs first touchdown. But after that moment, he went on a hot streak and took shots down the field. This was the game we hoped Bridgewater would take advantage of and he did so rightfully. The best thing about it was that he was not sacked at all and the offensive line was much improved from last week.
You Still Can’t Guard Mike
The proof is in the pudding. Michael Thomas had a phenomenal game against the Tampa Bay secondary. He finished with 11 catches for 182 yards and two touchdowns. The biggest thing was that he was 9 for 9 in press coverage. The critics have been silenced yet again as he showed why he was worth his 100 million dollar contract. It does not matter who throws him the ball, he will find a way to get open. The Twitter handle still stands.
Deep Dive Defensive Line
The Saints have the deepest and most talented defensive line in the league. They have consistently gotten pressure every week and had their third multi-sack game on Sunday. Marcus Davenport showed his worth by recording two sacks and a forced fumble. Cam Jordan, Sheldon Rankins, Malcom Brown and Carl Granderson also joined the sack party with one each. They also did all of this without sack leader Trey Hendrickson who missed the game with a neck injury. It goes to show how deep this team is, to the point that Jordan actually took snaps off. The Who Dat Nation can expect more sack lunches in the near future. Everyone is eating!
Latti Lockdown Strikes Again
Jamies Winston has always been an up and down quarterback coming into this league. The Saints knew they had to get pressure on him. They also needed to shut down his main target in Mike Evans and that is exactly what Marshon Lattimore did. Evans did not even get a target. Lattimore completely shut him down once again. We also have to give credit to Eli Apple who is quietly having a solid season. He did have an interception that got called back but his positioning on the play was perfect. If they can stay consistent like this for the long haul, we could see some long term investment made during the off-season.
Rookies Will Be Rookies
We all know that a rookie can have some hiccups if they play a major role. Deonte Harris is exciting to watch because he can be a game changer in the return game. However, this was not his best game as a professional and needs to forget about it. He muffed his first punt but recovered it quickly and still managed to gain some yards. His second punt was caught cleanly but lost the ball on his way to the ground. Fortunately, the video replay showed that their was no clear recovery. He knows his role but he cannot continue to make mistakes like this going forward. These type of plays are what change momentum and ultimately decide how the rest of the game will flow. Patience young grasshopper!
This was another great overall win for the Saints. Jared Cook got involved more and scored a touchdown. The team will travel to Jacksonville next week to face a Jaguars team that has been up and down. The running game should be a main focus in that match-up and hopefully Latavius Murray can have a breakout game. Who Dat!