Saints: Marquez Callaway developing into an important part of the offense
By Justin Fried
The New Orleans Saints needed a bounce-back victory in the worst way on Sunday following a disappointing loss to the New York Giants a week ago. And they got just that with a little help from Marquez Callaway.
After all, it was his highlight-reel 49-yard touchdown grab at the end of the first half that proved to not only ignite the Saints offense, but served as arguably the best play of the season for this team so far.
Callaway’s impressive summer left many excited to see what he could do in 2021, especially with the likes of Michael Thomas and Tre’Quan Smith sidelined with injuries.
On Sunday, he received his most work to date and emerged as the team’s leading receiver hauling in four catches for 85 yards and two touchdowns.
Just two weeks after scoring his first career touchdown, Callaway made sure to one-up himself with a pair of scores in the Saints’ 33-22 victory over the Washington Football Team.
The Saints needed Marquez Callaway on Sunday and he delivered
Callaway’s extensive usage (eight targets) wasn’t happenstance either. The Saints were essentially forced to lean on the former undrafted free agent with a number of their top targets out.
Aside from Thomas and Smith, the Saints lost Deonte Harris (technically their leading receiver through five weeks) to a hamstring injury and even saw Taysom Hill leave early with a concussion.
The Saints’ offense was depleted and they needed someone to step up and complement Alvin Kamara. Callaway did that and more helping lead his team to victory.
As the weeks go on, Callaway is becoming a more dependable, reliable target for Jameis Winston. And the two seem to be developing more and more chemistry with one another.
That should serve Callaway well and allow him to maintain a role in the offense once Smith and Thomas do eventually return.
The former Tennessee star now has 13 catches for 222 yards and three touchdowns on the season trailing just Kamara in receptions and Harris in receiving yards (helped by his 72-yard grab on Sunday).
And for Saints fans who saw Callaway ball out all summer, this is certainly a feel-good story.
Marquez Callaway is developing into a real weapon for the Saints. And he’s making a strong case to remain a featured part of the offense going forward.