Don’t Sleep on the New Orleans Saints

Glenn Kaplan

The New Orleans Saints were facing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at home and this was a rematch of the NFC Divisional Round from last season. With 1:44 remaining in regulation, Brian Johnson hit the go-ahead 23-yard field goal with 1:44 remaining in regulation to go up 29-27. However, Tom Brady was picked off by Patrick Williams for a 40-yard touchdown with less than 1:36 remaining and the New Orleans Saints upset the Tampa Bay Buccaneers by a final score of 36-27.

Tom Brady was sharp for the most part throughout the game except for that interception. Even great quarterbacks have bad moments like that. Cyril Grayson caught a 50-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter with 5:44 remaining in regulation time (failed two-point conversion). Tom Brady completed 28-of-40 passes for 375 yards, four touchdowns, and two interceptions.

Jameis Winston completed 6-of-10 passes for 56 yards and a touchdown. His lone touchdown pass was to Trequan Smith in the first quarter. Winston left the game with a knee injury and he did not return.

Head Coach Sean Payton believes it is a serious injury and could potentially be season-ending. Cam Newton or Deshaun Watson could be potential options despite potentially getting Taysom Hill back next week.

Trevor Siemian was the backup quarterback for New Orleans. He completed 16-of-29 passes for 159 yards and a touchdown. Siemian’s touchdown pass was to Alex Armah Jr. in the third quarter (16-7). The Saints biggest lead in this football game was 16 (23-7 lead in the third quarter after a 1-yard rushing touchdown by Alvin Kamara).

The Alvin Kamara connection in the backfield, along with Mark Ingram II is going to be dangerous down the line. They can run the football. Ingram II was just acquired via trade from Houston Texas a few days ago and Kamara is one of the best running backs in the NFL.

New Orleans is a team that should not be forgotten about in the NFC. They did beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the regular season twice last year. The New Orleans Saints did beat the Green Bay Packers (7-1) 38-3 back in Week 1. The Saints are currently the sixth seed in the NFC, but this is a football team that can pull an upset or two in the postseason.

They have been well-coached by Sean Payton despite the retirement of quarterback Drew Brees. Brees brought leadership and it doesn’t seem to be lacking for some strange reason. New Orleans has a very good defense. Demario Davis is the leader of that defense.

New Orleans still doesn’t have Michael Thomas at wide receiver. This team doesn’t make excuses for themselves and they just get the job done. This football team can win in so many different ways. The New Orleans Saints can win in so many different ways. They can win low-scoring affairs or in shootouts.

The Green Bay Packers, the Dallas Cowboys (6-1), the Arizona Cardinals (7-1), the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the Los Angeles Rams (7-1) are the premier contenders in the NFC. The New Orleans Saints feel like they belong in that same class because of the team culture and the team cohesion.

This should be a football team that no one wants to face come January.

The New Orleans Saints (5-2) next game will be at home next Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons (3-4).

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-2) will be on a bye week next week. Their next game will be on the road against The Washington Football Team (2-6) on Sunday, November 14th.

-Glenn Kaplan, 12oz Sports Contributor, Live Monday’s at 3 p.m. ET & Thursday at 11 a.m. ET on 12oz Sports

Photo Credit: Twitter @Saints


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