Observations: Part 2
We love Michael Thomas and we know with 100-percent certainty, as his Twitter handle states, “cantguardMike”. But if this offense wants to get to the next level, someone else in the WR corps has to contribute. We know Kamara and Thomas need to get their touches. And we know Mark Ingram needs his. But after Thomas’ unreal 70 catches (while double teamed often), the next nearest WR is Tre’Quan Smith with 12. That’s the same number Ginn had when he got hurt. We need a WR to get 35-40 catches, just enough to that teams get off Mike, or so we hurt them when they double him up.
The Taysom Hill game is splendid. In small doses. He had a great first down run but didn’t contribute much otherwise. I liked the idea of the pass to Brees – we knew that was somewhere in the playbook. I’d have rather seen them use it next week. Now that cat is out of the bag, and it was never going to work against the Rams. Beyond that, we need to make sure we get more plays with the ball in the hands of Brees, Kamara, Ingram and Thomas. Hill is becoming too predictable and we’ve gone to that trick bag a bit too much.
Much has been made about the cell phone play of Thomas. I’m sure I’ll echo many fans sentiments. NFL football is entertainment. The NFL has gone to great lengths to legislate fun out of the game and it stinks. From the dancing days of Billy “White Shoes” Johnson, I’ve enjoyed TD celebrations. The NFL is already not looked upon too fondly for so many other reasons. This is a dumb thing to penalize among all the penalties they could call.
I appreciated the fun and the nod to Joe Horn. Thomas did well and was just having fun.
HOWEVER, this game was still in the balance when he pulled this stunt. There was just under five minutes to go and we were only up by 10. The Rams had shown three times earlier in the game they could score a TD in under five minutes.
I don’t want to go as far as to call it selfish. Every celebration is a “look at me” moment. I’ll simply call it ill-timed and foolhardy under the circumstances for Thomas to do something he knew would cost his team 15 yards. Sean Payton scoured the sidelines looking for him to give him a piece of his mind. And after the big kickoff return, you saw him once again look for and glare in the direction of Thomas. Fortunately, the defense really stepped it up and got the job done.
It’s amazing that the Saints beat the team everyone considered the number one team in the NFL, and beat them by 10. This is a great confidence booster moving along in the season.