The New Orleans Saints got a much needed win, and the MVP of the Saints in the win was someone surprising, but he earns the honor for more reasons than one.
Make no mistake about it, the NFC South is wide open, so the New Orleans Saints getting a 28-6 victory in the division, even against the woebegone Carolina Panthers, is deserving of celebrating. There's an excellent chance divisional record is going to come into play for tiebreakers in the divisional standing by the end of the year. While it wasn't a perfect performance, there's one player who was at least close to flawless, and it goes beyond his play on the field.
The offensive line has been under a microscope all season, and while they haven't solved all of their issues by any stretch, Sunday was certainly a welcome sight.
Again, the Panthers may not exactly be anyone's first thought when they think of "juggernauts", however, they do have a fairly formidable defensive front. The fact that James Hurst was able to put on a pefromance like that is nothing to sneeze at. Derek Carr, and whoever else is dropping back to pass for the Saints in 2023, has been under duress all season, so at least someone was able to pitch a much-needed shutout.
The other reason Hurst deserves to be called the Saints' MVP of the game has to do with how he helped the team in another way.
Everyone knows teammates will get into a kerfuffle every now and then. That's just life in football. That said, you never want to see it happen so publicly, and the Saints are living that. The fact that Hurst had the presence of mind as a teammate to break up the riff-raff between Carr and Erik McCoy was just another reason he was the MVP in the win.
We have a long way to go in this season for the New Orleans Saints, and the roller coaster has been bumpy. That said, if the offensive line can take a step forward, perhaps there's reason for optimism.