The Saints’ sound defeat of the Bucs can be looked at in different ways. The numbers show a dominant Saints performance, but there is still work to be done.
We could look at the offensive glass being half full. QB Drew Brees was efficient if not spectacular. We’ve become so accustomed to gaudy numbers that a “normal” day seems odd for the future Hall of Famer. However, the added weaponry of RB Alvin Kamara seems to have made Brees’ job a bit more simple.
While Mark Ingram is the Shire horse, Kamara is the young thoroughbred. They have work to do, to be sure. But – and it’s strange to say this – the running game, and Kamara, has bailed out this offense.
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Defensively, the team has given up 15 points per game in the 6 game win streak. Even with the offense not hitting on all cylinders all the time, that is winning football. The Saints defense was truly the star of the game on Sunday, giving runners no room and keeping Jameis Winston from doing much damage. They banged Winston up a bit also, keeping him sidelined for the second half. The Saints didn’t allow the Bucs to surpass 100 total yards until late in the 3rd quarter.
If there was anything to be wary of, it was special teams. We haven’t mentioned them much this season, which is good. We spoke of them too much last season. But in Sunday’s game, the Black and Gold had a PAT blocked, missed a field goal, and had 3 mishandled punts, including a lost fumble on a muffed punt. While in this game it was fairly inconsequential, that garbage time TD it allowed could factor in poorly in a game against a better team.