Welcome everyone to the latest edition of #4Downs where I break down what went right and what went wrong for the New Orleans Saints! This week, I look at the Saints overtime win over the Atlanta Falcons!
1st Down: Secondary Still Suspect
No matter if you’re a Saints fan or an LSU fan, wide receivers from the state of Alabama are a thorn in your side. It’s been Julio Jones for the last few years and now with the addition of Calvin Ridley, the Falcons offense has a ton of weapons that will give the Saints secondary fits.
The secondary position for the Saints the last few weeks has underperformed and when you add the fact that Patrick Robinson and Vonn Bell went down on the same play on Sunday, it’s a tough break for a unit that has struggled to establish an identity almost a quarter the way through the season.
2nd Down: Taysom Hill Spark Plug of Offense
They always say that the best ability is availability and it’s safe to say that Taysom Hill lives that phrase to the letter. You have him on kickoff returns, playing on kick coverage, and has specific packages planned out for him. Whatever you need him to do, this guy is willing to do it and does it well.
The big play for him was a 35-yard run that had 10 more yards tacked on after a horse collar tackle. Hill can do everything for this team and that makes him a spark plug for this offense.
3rd Down: Defense Solid on Third Down
While the defense as a whole didn’t set the world on fire, they did have a great afternoon, especially when you look at one statistic in particular. The defense got some stops when they needed to, especially late in the ballgame, with the Falcons 3rd down conversion rate in the second half being at 25 percent.
This may not have been a defensive ballgame on both sides, but the Saints were able to get it done on these “money downs” and if not for a personal foul by David Onyemata, this game could’ve ended in regulation.
4th Down: Brees Still Has It
While there’s never been any doubt about Drew Brees and his ability to sling the football around, everyone has been talking about his spin move that led to the game-tying touchdown. It was a smart move, but no expected to see that from a quarterback that just a couple years ago had a plantar fascia injury that affected him.
He’s mentioned in the past that this team makes him feel younger and the way he played on Sunday was a prime example of that.
Extra Point: Atlanta Will Never Learn
It seems like at least once a year that the New Orleans Saints blocks a punt and it usually happens against the Falcons. You’d think that the franchise wouldn’t punt against the Saints.
In all seriousness, the blocked punt was a huge turning point in the ballgame and helped the Saints turn the tide.