New Orleans Saints: What we learned from Week 3 win over Patriots
The New Orleans Saints defeated the New England Patriots by a score of 28-13 and moved to 2-1 on the year. It was an impressive win for the black and gold and a performance this team needed after last week’s debacle in Charlotte.
Let’s take a look at what we learned about this team in the double-digit victory.
Defense is solid
We knew this defense had a chance to be special and saw why in Week 1. Last week was an anomaly due to all of the key playmakers missing due to injury but this week, we saw the defense perform much like it did in that beatdown over Green Bay.
Mac Jones hadn’t turned the ball over in his first two starts but the Saints picked him off three times. They also sacked him twice.
Offensive line not perfect but getting better
Losing Terron Armstead was a deadly blow but the offensive line held its own. They allowed three sacks on Jameis Winston but for the most part, did their job decently. James Hurst and Calvin Throckmorton are starting now due to the injuries to Armstead and Erik McCoy and have done decently in their new roles.
While there were hiccups amongst this group, the unit looked better. Alvin Kamara was able to have a big game on the ground and Winston was dropped just three times. It could have been a lot worse .
Callaway can make plays
Marquez Callaway had a lot of pressure riding on him this year as the Saints’ WR1, which was a big ask for a guy who went undrafted just last year. Through the first two games, things weren’t going well for Callaway, as he had just three catches for 20 yards combined.
Week 3, however, finally gave us a big performance from Callaway, as he hauled in four receptions for 41 yards and his first touchdown. Fans needed to see this because it was starting to feel like no receiver would truly step up for this team.
Winston’s risks pay off sometimes
Jameis Winston is one of those quarterbacks who likes to take risks. Sometimes this is a good thing but other times, it can end in disaster, as the Buccaneers knew all too well while Winston was their quarterback.
Winston put this on full display on Sunday when he threw what people on Twitter were calling a “YOLO pass” in the red zone. Fortunately, Callaway climbed the imaginary ladder and came down with the touchdown but that could have been a complete disaster for the black and gold.
Lattimore earned his extension
After a promising rookie year, Marshon Lattimore’s production wained with each passing year. It was a bit surprising to see NOLA extend him ahead of the season opener but now it’s looking like a brilliant move, as Lattimore had a terrific game on Sunday.
The Saints cornerback led the team in tackles with 10 and had the third interception off of Mac Jones. New Orleans has a thin cornerback room but Lattimore is showing that he did indeed deserve that extension.
Where is Roby?
Paulson Adebo might be the steal of the 2021 NFL Draft, as he continues to make a positive impression for the Saints secondary. Nick Underhill pointed out that Adebo had been playing so well that it’s made it difficult for Bradley Roby to get in on the action.
Roby didn’t see much — if any — playing time on Sunday and that’s telling, considering NOLA traded for him with the intention of starting him. It’s been puzzling not to see him involved much but that could be credited to Adebo and how well he’s played thus far.
Time for a new kicker
Aldrick Rosas did his part in his first two games as the temporary kicker but he failed to knock through two field goals during Sunday’s win. Considering he’s already a temporary player on this team, that doesn’t bode well for what little time he may have left in New Orleans. Don’t be surprised if Sean Payton wants a different kicker until Wil Lutz is able to return.
This was a big win for the Saints and keeps them alive in the NFC South race. We weren’t sure what to think of this team after two polar opposite performances but it was nice to see more of what we saw from Week 1.