NEW ORLEANS — New Orleans Saints games like Monday's are what is going to keep me from living deep into old age. The Saints 30-27 overtime win took YEARS off my life and probably aged my liver in dog years with all the alcohol I had to drink to calm my nerves in the second half. The Saints got to 3-2 thanks to some Drew Brees and goalpost magic.
Seriously, how did Michael Badgley's game winning kick not go in? It hit the inside of the upright and still stayed out? That's voodoo or a gift from whatever higher power you prefer to give credit to.
The Saints overcoming 14 and 17 point deficits the last 2 weeks is very un-Saints like behavior. The 2020 Saints are the reverse Atlanta Falcons.
Let's begin by savoring Drew Brees being amazing at times last night. He finished 33-47 for 325 yards after not even throwing for 100 yards in the first half. Stop obsessing over his lack of deep passes and try and enjoy Drew's final season with the Saints. We have 11 more times and maybe some playoff games of #9 in Saints uniform. We all know we will miss nights like these when some quarterback who's not as great as Drew isn't winning these types of games. He even gave us a deep touchdown to Jared Cook and the patented Drew Fleur-dis-leap touchdown sneak to close the first half.
The Saints offense looked like a clogged toilet until late in the first half when Drew decided to just throw the ball to Emmanuel Sanders on every play. Sanders after a slow start to 2020 looked fantastic with 12 catches for 122 yards and if Michael Thomas can stop punching teammates the Saints will have an incredible pair of receivers for Drew to throw too. By the way, Sean Payton didn't really want to address Michael Thomas' fight with Chauncey Gardner-Johnson but the look on his face after the game said everything we needed to know.
The stare Payton delivered when he said, “I’m going to talk about the players that played tonight.” was so cold I thought it was going to start snowing during his post-game press conference.
The Saints needed vintage Brees Monday because the running game was inconsistent at best and guard Nick Easton leaving the game with a concussion made things worse. Drew Brees’ late touchdown throw was in Jared Cook's words, "A beautiful throw" and looked like Drew Brees at his absolute best. Any Saints comeback wouldn't be complete without Alvin Kamara committing an act of wizardry. That 28-yard catch where he juggled the ball, while having a Charger defender on him AND still got both feet in bounds? Don't let the fact he does stuff like that every week make it seem less ridiculous. Kamara still had 19 touches for 120 yards on a quiet night for him and if there's a better offensive weapon in football I'd like to see them.
Kamara also delivered the perfect description of the win after the game, "“It was a dirty, dirty, dirty game. We just had to claw and scratch and come out on top.”
He is a treasure and should be treated as such.
While offense took a while to get going, the Saints defense played much better than you thought. Drew Brees’ interception and the roughing the punter penalty put them in terrible spots and contributed to 14 of the Chargers 27 points. Yes, they still had a giant mental gaffe late that gave the Chargers a 64-yard go-a-head touchdown and were bad on third down, allowing 8 of 17 conversions, but they also held the line in the third quarter while the Saints offense found their groove. And no pass interference penalties! It's true, look it up!
Marshon Lattimore looked like a guy trying to gut it out on a bad hamstring. He made the game-clinching tackle in overtime and the catch he allowed to set up the Chargers potential game winning kick was just a special play by receiver Mike Williams. The other team gets paid too.
If you wanna tell me about all the issues the Saints have and how they aren’t a Super Bowl contender, I’m not listening on this Tuesday morning. The Saints are in first place heading into their bye, Tom Brady is so old he can’t even count to 4 anymore or remember what down it is, so I’m going to enjoy last night for 2 weeks because 2020 is the worst but Saints wins make me happy.