Saints vs Bengals: Observations
The good, bad and ugly from the Saints win over the Bengals
The Who Dat train kept on rolling Sunday with a convincing win over the Bengals. The final score 51-14 was an embarrassing laugher. Here’s how I saw it:
-Drew Brees might be having his best year at age 39. He’s leading the league in completion percentage, touchdown to interception ratio, and passer rating. He started the game 14 of 15 for 152 yards and two touchdowns. That one incompletion was a throwaway. He ended the game with as many incompletions (three) as touchdowns. MVP?
-Alvin Kamara has played in 25 games and scored 27 touchdowns in his young career (including two today). That type of production is unheard of. Nobody in the history of the league has averaged a touchdown a game. Highly doubt Kamara can keep this up, but it’s one helluva start.
-The pass rush decided to show up today despite rookie end Marcus Davenport being out with a toe injury. They collected four sacks totaling 24 lost yards. If they can keep the pressure up on opposing quarterbacks, the woeful defensive backfield won’t have to cover as long.
- Benjamin Watson dropped a jump pass for a touchdown from Taysom Hill in the second quarter. This was a waste of a play. Not because Watson dropped it, but because it could’ve been saved for a better time than a regular season game against the Bengals.
-Rookie receiver Tre’Quan Smith played, but didn’t get a single target. Instead, newly promoted off the practice squad rookie Keith Kirkwood had two targets and two receptions for 45 yards. Nothing wrong with Kirkwood getting a shot, but I’d like to see Smith more moving forward given the depth issues at the position.
-The field goal to make it 48-7 in the fourth quarter was completely unnecessary! Signed, The Guy Who Had Under 54 Because Of The Cold Weather Game Played Outdoors.
-Starting left tackle Terron Armstead went to the locker sans pads with an apparent shoulder injury. He pancake blocked a Bengal defender and his shoulder landed awkwardly on the guy. If the blindside protection for Brees is hurt for any period of time, it could be crucial to their chances of making a run.
- The same rush defense that held the Rams and Todd Gurley to 92 yards and a 4.8 average gave up 110 yards and a whopping 6.9 average today. It’s the 6.9 average that bothers me. Had this game been closer, the Bengals would’ve run more than 16 times.
-The game was being broadcast on Fox. Sometime in the third quarter with the game out of hand, they decided to switch the feed to Tampa versus Washington, and I was forced to watch the rest of the game via “alternative means.” In the spirit of The Blitz, I say: Hey Fox, BLEEP that!
Forcing the once division-leading Bengals to eat a 50 burger on the road in the cold was impressive. This was the first time since the 2007 Patriots that a team has scored touchdowns on its first five possessions in consecutive games. The win streak is up to eight games now. At 8-1 and leading the charge league-wide, can this team make a Super Bowl run? Can Brees win his first career MVP award to help cement his legacy? Stay tuned!