This is your weekly appreciation post for the best New Orleans Saints players on the team right now. The ones on either side of the ball who are performing at an elite level and simply must be recognized for their contributions after Sunday’s win against Washington.
Some names may come as a surprise, but only because they play more overlooked positions. While Jameis Winston’s passing theatrics hog the spotlight most of the time, members of the supporting cast have been silently putting in the work and expecting nothing in return.
Well, we see you. More appropriately, PFF sees you.
The first name should come as no surprise. Initially believed to be a huge disappointment at the start of the season, Marquez Callaway has stepped up into that vacant, moth-infested WR1 role that Michael Thomas left behind.
Callaway just had his career-best performance against Washington, catching four targets for 85 yards and adding two touchdowns. He’s developing into a key offensive player for the Saints and couldn’t have picked a better time to do so. With Thomas and Tre’Quan Smith out and Deonte Harris taken out of Week 5’s game due to a hamstring injury, Winston’s target options were Callaway and….nope, just Callaway.
The other WRs have yet to make an impact, but it’s a good thing Callaway has proven he can carry the offensive load, for now. New Orleans’ wideout situation still isn’t sustainable, and the front office should consider trading for a receiver soon.
New Orleans Saints’ top graded players in Week 5 includes a few surprises
Following Callaway, the Saints’ secondary tandem of Marshon Lattimore and Paulson Adebo has earned the team’s next highest PFF grades. Lattimore and Adebo have withstood everything that’s been thrown at them so far, from a tough matchup against Davante Adams to Week 5’s tough(er) matchup against Terry McLaurin.
Given Adebo’s relative lack of experience, his ability to hold his own against Washington’s most talented threats deserves a nod, and PFF have given him just that. Keep an eye on his improvement throughout the season.
As for Lattimore, what more can be said about the corner who has ten pass breakups this season, five more than any other defender? Lattimore is the only reason the Saints’ secondary is holding up this year, and New Orleans can thank the heavens that he’ll be around for a while after agreeing to a five-year contract extension. He’s getting paid quite well, but PFF is also paying him the respect of a 85.4 overall grade in Week 5.
The fourth and fifth-highest graded Saints, P.J. Williams and Carl Granderson, definitely snuck up on us. Through five games, Williams has recorded seven combined tackles, three passes defended, and two interceptions, and Granderson has recorded two quarterback hits and a sack.
They were the most productive members of the Saints’ defense against Washington, and while the defensive unit still has areas to improve, having a few dependable players like them boosts team morale.
Given the fickle nature of the NFL, we expect different Saints players to move into PFF’s top rankings each week. For now, these are New Orleans’ offensive and defensive stars in Week 5. Give them a hand.