Let’s be honest: If you’re a New Orleans Saints fan, everything went the way you hoped during Sunday’s 34-0 shutout of the New England Patriots.
Here were the high points of the win in Foxborough:
- The Saints defense forced three turnovers, sacked Patriots quarterback Mac Jones three times, and were able to turn one of the interceptions into six points with a Tyrann Mathieu pick-six in the first quarter.
- The Saints offense capitalized on a clean performance from quarterback Derek Carr, scoring three of four times in the red zone. Carr, in his second game back from injury, threw for 183 yards and two touchdowns on 18 of 26 passing.
- In his second game since suspension, running back Alvin Kamara found the end zone for the first time this season. The two-yard score in the second quarter solidified Kamara as New Orleans’ all-time touchdown leader with 73. The previous record was held by receiver Marques Colston.
What the coach is saying
Coming off a 26-9 loss to Tampa Bay last week, second-year Saints head coach Dennis Allen was pleased with how his team bounced back to get back in the win column.
“I thought we executed in all three phases of the game. I thought we controlled the line of scrimmage a little bit and everybody including coaches, players, and staff answered the call this week,” Allen said.
Allen, who found his first win over the Patriots as a head coach, told reporters that Mathieu’s interception is what set the tone for the day and allowed the defense to play the best they have all season. The unit only allowed one third down conversion on 14 attempts.
“There are still a lot of things we have to clean up, but I thought we played well, specifically our third-down defense,” he continued. “That pick-six was huge as our whole team sort of fed off that as we emphasized taking the ball away this week.”
Leading the offense alongside Carr was Kamara with 97 total yards and the record-breaking score. Michael Thomas had four first downs on four receptions, equaling out to 65 yards on seven targets. Kendre Miller had 53 yards on four receptions, while Chris Olave and Foster Moreau both caught touchdowns through the air.
Defensively, Demario Davis and Alontae Taylor led the Saints with six tackles apiece, while Carl Granderson had one of his best games of the season. The fifth-year defensive end finished with three tackles for loss, a sack, and two quarterback hits. Pete Werner added an interception of his own to go with Mathieu’s pick, and Cameron Jordan recovered a fumble on the opening drive of the second half.
Special teams play was once again highlighted by rookie kicker Blake Grupe. The Notre Dame product went four of four on PATs while knocking in two 50+ yard field goals. Grupe is now 12 of 13 on field goals as his resume continues to look like that of a Pro Bowler’s.
With the win against the Patriots (1-4) now in the books, the Saints (3-2) will return to action on Sunday, Oct. 15 against the Houston Texans on the road. Kickoff is set for 12 p.m. CT at NRG Stadium and will be broadcast on FOX. The Texans (2-3) are coming off a 21-19 loss against the Atlanta Falcons as quarterback C.J. Stroud has yet to throw an interception five games into his NFL career.
J.T. Mitchell contributed to this report.