Every-Thing Sports

Saints vs Jags: Good, bad & ugly

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No Drew Brees, no problem for the fourth game in a row to improve to 5-1in an ugly defensive battle against the Jags 13-6. Here are my observations:

The Good

-The defense held it down yet again. At halftime, the Jags had only 110 yards of offense and ended the game with 226. This was the third game in a row allowing less than 300 total yards. Defensive stars Cam Jordan (two sacks) and Marshon Lattimore (an interception) led the way.

-Teddy Bridgewater completed 67% of his passes against the Jags. His poise in the pocket allowed him to remain calm and hit open receivers. No wonder teams wanted him to come in to potentially start for them this past offseason. This stretch proves he still has what it takes to be a starter in this league.

-Eight of Bridgewater's completions went to Michael Thomas. He hauled in those passs for a total of 89 yards, but didn't score a touchdown. However, he was open or made a play on the ball every time Bridgewater needed him. How he was so wide open on several instances is beyond me.

The Bad

-Bridgewater was pretty inaccurate today. While he had a decent completion percentage, he sailed quite a few balls. Luckily, they weren't intercepted. These throws are the ones that typically get tipped and/or picked off and can change a game, especially one played this close.

-Alvin Kamara was held in check. He totaled 18 touches for 66 yards and failed to score. Kamara is the X-Factor on offense for the Saints. His struggles coincided with the team's low output. It's a wonder they won despite the Jags doing such a good job holding him down.

-Speaking of low output, the offense averaged a paltry five yards per play. The Jags defense is stout, but it's aso susceptible to being beat. The Saints offense did just enough to win, but these type of performances aren't going to cut it against a team that has a better offense on the days the defense can't bail them out.

The Ugly

-No touchdowns scored in the first three quarters of play. Both defenses came to play. While I happen to like defensive games, it's the offenses that sell tickets and creates interest outside of the football faithful. It took until the 11:49 mark of the 4th quarter before ther Saints scored on a Bridgewater touchdown pass to Jared Cook.

-Going 5/13 on 3rd down conversions is a recipe for disaster. That's 38% for the mathematically challenged. Again, if the defense isn't able to bail the offense out by playing shut down ball, the offense will have to step it up.

-Demario Davis laid out Jags tight end Geoff Swaim in the 4th quarter. He was flagged for unnecessary roughness as the hit was to Swaim's head. Thankfully he was able to walk off the field, but stayed down a little while. Davis immediately took his helmet off and kneeled down as he's known for being a good sport and surely didn't mean to potentially injure Swaim.

The Jags are always a tough opponent, provided they're playing with their heads on their shoulders and not up their asses. Fortunately for the Saints, they played just a bit better than the Jags did, but not by much. I happen to enjoy games like this because I appreciate good defense. Some of you would disagree, and that's OK. Up next are the Bears, in Chicago. I fully expect another defensive struggle. If they can survive next week, the bye week comes and Brees should be back the week after. This may be the best team in the NFL right now all things considered.

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Correa knows it's time for his payday. Composite image by Jack Brame.

The Rangers made a big splash over the weekend when they agreed to terms on a 7-year $175 million contract with infielder Marcus Semien. Apparently, that was just the tip of the iceberg. According to multiple reports, the Rangers have also added arguably the most coveted player in free agency, Corey Seager. Seager and the Rangers have agreed to a massive 10-year $325 million contract.

Before the Seager news broke, many were starting to wonder if teams would be willing to hand out 10-year deals for over 300 million dollars with the lockout just around the corner. Now we have our answer, and Carlos Correa has to be a very happy man to see how the market is shifting. The Rangers not only added two incredible players, but they also made it pretty much a certainty that Correa will either leave Houston, or the Astros will have to sign him to a long-term $300 million deal, which is not likely based on their stance on multi-year big money contracts.

The Rangers aren't the only team in the AL West making blockbuster moves. The Mariners agreed to terms with 2021 AL Cy Young Award winner Robbie Ray on Monday. Ray and Seattle agreed to a 5-year, $115 million contract.

The Angels joined in on the action a couple of weeks ago when they signed Noah Syndergard to a 1-year 21 million dollar deal.

Clearly, the AL West is on notice that they're going to have to make big changes if they want to compete with the Houston Astros who have dominated the AL recently with 5 straight ALCS appearances and 3 trips to the World Series. With Correa likely out the door in Houston, these teams might believe this is a perfect time to make a run at the division and finally knock off the Astros. Only time will tell if these deals will work, and the Astros look to have a terrific team this season whether Correa returns or not.

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