The New Orleans Saints are truly firing on all cylinders. Go back to three weeks ago, and many labeled the Saints as finished following the injury to Drew Brees. This past Sunday solidified the fact that the Saints are one of the best teams in the NFL, no doubt about it. The game against Tampa Bay was a perfect example of when all the pieces come together. Not only did the defense play with its hair on fire, but the offense was playing like the offense we have been used to seeing for the past 13 years with Drew Brees at the helm.
The game started with the Saints locking up Tampa’s offense, not once but twice. This allowed Teddy Bridgewater, Alvin Kamara, and Co. to drive down the field. However, a familiar result followed. The drive stalled out in the red zone. This led to a Wil Lutz field goal from 29 yards away. This gave the Saints the 3-0 lead. After the defense forced Tampa to punt again, the game took a bad turn. On a 3rd and 8 with just over a minute to go in the 1st quarter, Bridgewater tried to find Kamara out of the backfield. The pass was a little bit behind him, however it was still one that Kamara should have caught. Instead, the ball fell into the waiting arms of the Tampa defender, and this set Tampa up with amazing field position. The ensuing drive started out with the Saints sacking Jameis Winston. On the next play, Winston stepped up in the pocket and found Chris Godwin for the touchdown. At the end of the first quarter, the Saints were down 7-3.
To start the second quarter, it seemed like a switch had been flipped. Teddy Bridgewater aired the balled out to Michael Tomas for a big gain. The next play, Taysom Hill checked in for a play and found Thomas for another huge pick up. The drive concluded with Bridgewater finding Thomas for a 14-yard touchdown! Out of nowhere, Bridgewater had been given the green light to do exactly what we all wanted to see! The Saints took the lead 10-7.
After Tampa tied the game at 10, the offense picked up right where it had left off. Following a throw of about 10 to Michael Thomas, Bridgewater found Kamara on the screen pass for the gain of 11. Taysom Hill checked in to scramble for a gain of 10. The offense was starting to fire on all cylinders! The following play, Bridgewater found Josh Hill for a pick-up of about 26 yards. The drive finished with Bridgewater finding Jared Cook for the 9-yard touchdown! The Saints put together one of their best drives of the whole year so far, and had the lead 17-10 going into the half!
Coming out of the locker rooms, the offense did not miss a beat. On the first play of the second half, Bridgewater found Thomas down the sideline for another huge gain. The drive concluded with Bridgewater finding a wide-open Ted Ginn Jr. for a 33-yard touchdown! Tampa answered with a touchdown through Peyton Barber, but it was all Saints from that point on! After Lattimore broke up a pass on 3rd and 2, forcing Tampa to punt, Bridgewater found Michael Thomas for another huge gain. A few plays later, Bridgewater found Alvin Kamara for another big gain. This drive concluded with Bridgewater finding Michael Thomas, who proceeded to shred tacklers on his way to the end zone! The Saints led 31-17.
The Saints defensive line, who just bullied their way through Tampa’s offensive line, en route to Jameis Winston, stomped out any comeback attempt by Tampa. One drive in the fourth quarter saw the Saints sack Winston on three plays in a row! The Bucs were able to score a garbage time touchdown, but make no mistake about it, this game was all Saints!
Bridgewater finished with 314 passing yards and 4 touchdowns. Michael Thomas had 11 catches for 182 yards and 2 scores. We finally saw Jared Cook get in on the fun as he had his first score in Saints uniform, as well as Ted Ginn Jr. who added a touchdown.
We cannot go without mentioning the job that Marshon Lattimore did in this game. He held Mike Evans to ZERO catches. He completely eliminated one of the NFL’s top receivers from the contest. Finally, the defensive line showed, once again, that they are one of, if not, the best defensive line in football. They sacked Winston 6 times!
It was a great performance from our boys that should have them confident heading into a tough week 6 game at Jacksonville! Whodat!!!