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, we look at the Saints win over the Los Angeles Rams!
1st Down: Offensive Flurry
After watching an LSU offense that was about as entertaining as watching paint dry, the Saints offense got the state of Louisiana out of the doldrums. It was amazing to see the offense firing off on all cylinders in the first half.
Drew Brees looked like his old self with 211 passing yards before halftime after having a low-key performance last weekend against the Vikings and the run game was able to eclipse the century mark yet again.You throw in 35 points, it may have been the best first half the Saints have had in quite some time.
2nd Down: Anzalone’s Big Day
History may tell us that the 2017 NFL Draft for the Saints may be one of the best simply in terms of overall value. Of course, the focal points of that draft is Marshon Lattimore and Alvin Kamara, but Alex Anzalone has been one of those players that has gotten some love, but isn’t exactly the player that everyone is clamoring about.
That being said, his interception late in the second quarter was simply phenomenal. The former Florida Gator looked like a wide receiver when he intercepted Jared Goff to set up another touchdown drive.
3rd Down: Not Enough Killer Instinct?
It’s something I’ve harped on for a long time about this team is that it seems like they don’t have that killer instinct like some other teams have. This wasn’t one of those instances. The Saints played against one of the best offenses in the league and you can only hope to contain a team like the Rams.
It was a weird start to the second half and maybe it was more the Rams wanting to prove that they can beat anybody in the league.
4th Down: Answering the Bell
Sticking with the second half, the Saints at one point only had 50 total yards in the second half. However, after Goff connected with Cooper Kupp on a big touchdown pass to tie things up the Saints came alive and were able to put the game out of reach thanks in large part to Drew Brees and this high-powered offense.
It was best vs best all afternoon and New Orleans answered the bell in a big way, much like the Rams did throughout the first half when they were able to get points on the board right after the Saints did.
Extra Point: Michael Thomas’ Celebration
Michael Thomas had a phenomenal ballgame with a franchise record for receiving yards in a single game and punctuated that with a celebration for the ages, breaking out the flip phone just like Joe Horn did 15 years ago. There’s been a mixed reaction with the old-school fans hating on the celebration because of the 15-yard penalty on the kickoff and then there’s the younger fans who are all in favor of it.
Where I stand is that it was one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen. Think about it; they were up by ten with about four minutes and change left in the ballgame. The defense had been playing very well after allowing a touchdown early on in the fourth quarter. We talk about the NFL being the “no fun league” for the last several years, but with this celebration Thomas made the game fun again. You’ll see that touchdown in the season in review videos that the NFL puts together almost on a loop.