Saints Report: Saints stymie Seahawks on Monday Night Football
In each of the last four seasons, the New Orleans Saints have ripped off at least six wins in a row, always starting week four or later.
The Saints still have a long way to go to get on that level, but winning back-to-back games for the first time all year is a good place to start with a 13-10 victory over the Seattle Seahawks on Monday Night Football.
“Lock it in your mind. Lock it in your heart. Everything we do is for our city. Now let’s turn up how our city do. Yes sir, let’s go!” Mississippi native Demario Davis setting the tone before the Saints’ first primetime game of the season and then throughout the game causing all kinds of havoc for a Seahawks offense still without eight-time Pro Bowl Quarterback Russell Wilson. Head Coach Sean Payton said, “I just love the way he leads, the way he plays with enthusiasm. He’s really developed into not just run, but pass as well. He’s someone that has good instincts.”
His final week seven stat line is something out of a video game, 10 total tackles, four for loss, one pass defensed, three QB hits, and two of his team’s five sacks. Davis said, “They talk about a lot of the top linebackers across the league and they kind of move those numbers around, but who’s putting the best unit out on the field? Right? As a Mike linebacker, you’re the leader of a defense, right? And so, I’m excited when the defense plays great because I believe that’s a reflection of how well anchor players on your defense are doing.”
Already the third time this year holding opponents to 13 points or less, but what about the offense? Sloppy for both teams, combining to go just 5-25 on third down conversions.
One bright spot being Jameis Winston’s fourth start without a turnover this season, matching his total from 2018 and 2019 combined.
More than half of his completions went to Alvin Kamara, another bright spot, posting his best receiving numbers since week three of last year with 10 catches for 128 yards and the Saints’ lone touchdown of the night. Winston said, “AK is one of the most dominant players in this league, so it’s always exciting when you put the ball in his hands and watch the things that he does.”
Kamara said, “He dropped the ball? Oh no, I ain’t seen that. Nah, I didn’t see it. But defensively, they played a little zone look and I just had a gang of space so it was really a – I didn’t even run the route that I was supposed to run. I just sat in a little void and kind of got the ball and made it happen.”
In crunch time, the Saints put the game in the hands of undrafted rookie kicker Brian Johnson, who not only kicked the go-ahead 33-yard field goal coming out of the two-minute warning, but also buried a 21-yarder in the second quarter, capping off a 19-play 10 minute and 16 second drive, the longest in terms of both play and time in the NFL this season. Johnson said, “I’m looking to take advantage of the opportunities. Some rookies – especially kickers and punters and stuff – it takes a year or two to kind of get into the league and find your niche and stuff, so I’m just looking to take advantage of the opportunities I’m given.”
The defense stepped up once again on Seattle’s final drive, giving the offense some more room to breathe in its first year without Drew Brees. The 13-10 win is the closest margin of victory the Saints have had since week eight of last year, also their lowest scoring output in a win since week four of 2019. Defensive end Cameron Jordan said, “I hope it’ll just be the win. Other than the confidence that we get for the defense from finishing out like this, as we get further away from here, we look back, I hope it tallies up more and more wins. At the end of the year, it doesn’t matter how close the games were. It matters about the win column.”
“That’s the sign of a team that eventually you know how to win, and to win, and to win, and to win, and that becomes everything. That becomes everything. More important than anything else, it’s leaving with another win.”
The Saints improve to 4-2 as the Seahawks fall to 2-5. In the second half of Monday’s game, Alvin Kamara became the fastest player in NFL history to reach both 3,000 career rushing and receiving yards. It took him just 66 games, four games faster than the previous leader.