5 Positives/5 Negatives From Saints’ Win Over Redskins
Below are five positives, and also five negatives, to take from the New Orleans Saints’ 34-31 overtime win over the Washington Redskins on Sunday.
The victory, their eighth-straight, improved the Saints to 8-2 on the season, and keeping them in sole possession of first place in the NFC South.
1)---8-Straight: The win pushed the Saints' current win streak to 8-straight, their longest since 2011, when they ended the season with 8-consecutive wins. The triumph also kept them in sole possession of first place in the NFC South, one-and-a-half games in front of the Carolina Panthers, while giving them a 2-and-a-half game lead over the Atlanta Falcons, the defending NFC Champions. Winning certainly is fun!
2)---Running Backs: They did it again! New Orleans ran the football 23 times for 160 yards, for an average of 7.0 yards-per-carry. As for Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara, they were even better, combining for 176 yards on 19 carries, for a whopping 9.3 yards-per-carry. That duo is unstoppable right now, and their talents were on full display on Sunday.
3)---Drew Brees: He threw for 385 yards, and was just terrific in the final quarter. Brees proved that he can still put the team on his back and carry them to a in, when necessary.
4)---Coby Fleener: It's nice to see him in this department! Fleener had his best game of the year, finishing with 5 catches for 91 yards. including a couple of key grabs. When he produces as he did Sunday, it's really tough to stop the Saints' offense.
5)---Third Down Efficiency On Defense: The Saints held the Redskins to only 4-of-12 in third down conversions. The defense certainly was far from perfect, but they did get Washington off the field when they had the chance, most of the time.
1)---Daniel Lasco Inury: Daniel went down with a spine injury early in the second quarter while making a tackle on a Buffalo returner Brandon Tate, and was taken off the field in a stretcher, and into an ambulance. The good news is that he has feeling in his extremities, and head coach Sean Payton said after the game that all signs are positive. Still, scary stuff, and we wish Lasco the very best.
2)---Kenny Vaccaro: He sustained a groin injury two weeks ago against Tampa Bay, and has missed the last two games. Sure the Saints are 2-0 without him, but they've missed him, and any injury, especially one to a starter, is always concerning. Hopefully, this is not an injury that will linger.
3)---Willie Snead: After a career season in 2016, one in which he caught 72 passes, Snead has been nowhere to be found in 2017, with only one catch. He was suspended the first three games of the season, before being hampered by a bad hamstring. There was even talk about him being traded, which wouldn't have been the case if Snead were playing at the level he did last year. Again on Sunday, Snead was almost an afterthought, finishing with one catch for 12 yards. This offense can be better, and because of that the Saints can be better; but they need better production from Snead to make that happen. I'm almost resigned to the fact that just won't happen, at least this year.
4)---Marshon Lattimore: He left the game in the first half, after sustainig a lower left leg injury on the Redskins’ opening possession while breaking up a third-down pass in the end zone. It seems like it won't be a prolonged thing, but that's just speculation. The Saints can ill-afford to lose this guy. The organization hasn't had a Pro Bowl cornerback since 1995, but Lattimore seems destined to be named to that group this year, as a rookie. Hopefully, he'll be okay.
5)---Secondary: Lattimore and Vaccaro were missed. Vonn Bell and De'Vante Harris struggled in pass coverage, while Ken Crawley and P.J. Williams committed too many penalties. Kurt Cousins threw for over 300 yards and three touchdowns, but again; playing without two starters would be tough, for anybody.