5 Positives/5 Negatives From Saints’ Win Over Buccaneers
Below are five positives, and also five negatives, to take from the New Orleans Saints’ 30-10 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.
The victory, their sixth-straight, improved the Saints to 6-2 on the season.
1)---6-Straight: The win pushed the Saints' current win streak to 6-straight, their longest since 2011, when they ended the season with 8-consecutive wins. The triumph also kept them in sole possession of first place in the NFC South, a half-game in front of the Carolina Panthers, while giving them a 2-game lead over the Atlanta Falcons, the defending NFC Champions. Winning certainly is fun!
2)---Drew Brees: He finished 22-of-27 for 263 yards and two touchdowns, while his 131.9 passer rating was his highest of the season, topping his 131.4 mark during a Saints win over the Carolina Panthers in Week 3. Sunday was also a record-setting day for Brees, as he has now thrown 225 touchdown passes at the Superdome, the most by any quarterback at any one stadium. His legacy just continues to grow.
3)---Defensive Line: Cameron Jordan and Alex Okafor were absolute beasts, finishing 1-2 on the team in tackles. Jordan finished with 7 tackles, including 1.5 sacks, while Okafor accumulated 6 tackles, including a half-sack. The Bucs averaged only 3.5 yards-per-carry, and these two were a big part of the reason why.
4)---Secondary: It's hard to single out anyone in this group, because the entire unit seemed to play well. Marshon Lattimore, P.J. Williams, Ken Crawley, Vonn Bell, and Chris Banjo all had many good moments. DeSean Jackson caught only two passes for 25 yards, and he was the most productive Bucs' receiver on the afternoon. Just a terrific performance by the secondary.
5)---Third Down Efficiency: Now, The Saints finished over the 50% mark, converting on 7-on-13 third down conversion, while holding the Bucs to 4-of-13. That's how you win by three touchdowns.`
1)---Special Teams: Granted, Justin Hardee blocked a punt and recovered it for a touchdown, but Wil Lutz missed a field goal, and had another blocked, while Ted Ginn muffed a punt that, fortunately, was recovered, Willie Snead muffed a punt that, unfortunately, led to Tampa Bay's only touchdown, and Ginn threw a one-hop pass across the field to Tommylee Lewis on an awful looking kickoff return trick play. If not for the blocked punt, along with the solid punting of Thomas Morstead, it was not good performance by the special teams.
2)---Kenny Vaccaro: He sustained an injury in he first half and didn't return. Vaccaro may be fine, and may not miss any time at all, but any injury, especially one to a starter, is always concerning.
3)---Willie Snead: After a career season in 2016, one in which he caught 72 passes, Snead has been nowhere to be found in 2017, with only one catch. He was suspended the first three games of the season, and has been hampered by a bad hamstring over the last few weeks, but there wouldn't have been all that talk about trading for another offensive weapon if Snead were playing at the level he did last year. Again on Sunday, Snead was an afterthought, finishing without a catch. This offense can be better, and because of that the Saints can be better; but they need better production from Snead to make that happen.
4)---Terron Armstead: He went in and out of the game a couple of times with an injury. Like Vaccaro, he may be just fine, but Armstead has a recent history of injuries, and with Larry Warford out, any injury to an offensive line starter is certainly something the Saints can do without.
5)---Alvin Kamara: He made the play of the game, taking a screen pass and made his way through Tampa Bay's defense for an incredible, Houdini-like 33-yard touchdown catch and run in the first half, while also scoring on a rushing touchdown in the second half. So why is Kamara on the negatives list? Because he's spoiling me! The guy is turning into a bona-fide star.