Analyzing the statistics for the New Orleans Saints after Week 2 in the preseason
By Dean Mullen
The New Orleans Saints go into Preseason Week 3 with some numbers to look at. Some of these statistics may surprise Who Dat Nation.
Of course, two weeks is not enough, to totally get a reliable sample for evaluation. That being said, these are the facts that the Saints have currently. Training camp is over. After this game, there should be plenty of numbers to compare and contrast.
The preseason is always hard to evaluate, as players come in to varying circumstances. In other words, there won’t be four full games with one set of players to break down film on. In fact, having nearly 90 players makes it challenging to say the least, to give each player their deserved grade. Regardless, cuts are gonna be made. And this year there is only one official cut down to the 53-man roster.
By the same token, there’s always the risk of playing starters too much as Sean Payton alludes to:
"“We’re playing football. They’re at risk any time we go out to practice. We just try to make sure we’re paying attention to their pitch count and we were right on their numbers that we wanted. Anytime you walk someone out in a uniform you’re at risk.”"
The constant battle of making sure a starter is playing too little or too much is always an ongoing dilemma.
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Week 3 is gonna be where risk is higher for the starters as well. It’s usually the game where the starters around the league get the most reps. And there’s no reason to think otherwise in 2017. Presumably, Drew Brees will play at least a full quarter. Playing more than that is always a possibility, depending on how the offense looks. The fans have been anticipating seeing Drew Brees play with eagerness. On the other hand, the coaches have 89 other players to evaluate.
Cutting nearly 35 players over the next week is gonna be a tough task. Of course, there is also the practice squad where 10 players can land on, if they are fortunate enough. Those players won’t be available on gameday though.
Garrett Grayson is gonna get his chance to take a lot of snaps this week. The criticism has been high of Grayson. However, the stats tell a different story.
Grayson 11-16 126 yards (92.2 QB Rating)
Chase Daniel 11-18 107 yards (77.8 QB Rating)
Ryan Nassib 16-29 165 yards 1 TD 1 INT (68.9 QB Rating)
Obviously, none of the quarterbacks are lighting up anything so far. Nassib is the only QB to actually throw a TD. By the same token, he’s also the only one to throw an interception.
The two leading rushers are:
Alvin Kamara 9 rushes 96 yards, 10.7 avg.1 TD
Darius ‘Vito’ Victor 19 rushes 71 yards, 3.7 avg.
Kamara has been simply jaw dropping so far. And Darius Victor has shown that he can be sort of a young Tim Hightower running hard, with a low center of gravity. The backfield is loaded, so Victor is gonna have to work through the final game to make the cut. Most of the experts have Victor at least making the practice squad.
On defense, there has been plenty of bright spots. Manti T’eo has shown some brilliant play. Al-Quadin Muhammad has also shocked the Black and Gold with two sacks and two QB hits. Moreover, DE Mitchell Loewen has also flashed at times. Loewen is definitely a long shot to make the roster. But never doubt a player if he continues to show consistency.
Another player to mention that’s having a great camp is Chris Banjo. Banjo has been a special teams ninja. Especially, the game against the Los Angeles Chargers.
Ultimately, there’s plenty of others that have shown they too deserve to be on the roster in 2017. This game against the Houston Texans could be their Super Bowl.