NEW ORLEANS — It’s another Saints win and they’re now 6-1 through the first seven games of the season. My four takeaways from blasting the Chicago Bears begins… at the 2017 NFL Draft.
4. The Saints didn’t draft Mitchell Trubisky
I studied the 2017 draft hard because the Saints had a ton of picks. In round one, they picked up Marshon Lattimore at No. 11 and Ryan Ramczyk at No. 32. In round two, the Saints hit on Marcus Williams and in round three, they picked up Alvin Kamara, Alex Anzalone and Trey Hendrickson.
Those picks were home runs and that class is why the Saints are where they are.
In that same draft, the Bears had the second overall pick and they took North Carolina’s Mitchell Trubisky. Right now, Trubisky is 27th in the NFL in quarterback rating. Some other quarterbacks that were take in in round one that year were Patrick Mahomes at No. 10 to the Chiefs and Deshaun Watson at No. 12 to the Texans. Right now, Mahomes is third in QB rating and Watson is fifth.
Those three quarterbacks are now forever linked, and imagines how scary the Bears would be with their defense if one of the other guys was quarterbacking in Chicago.
3. The Replacements
CJ Gardner-Johnson and the replacements were brilliant.
Teddy Bridgewater had another QB rating over a hundred, which is terrific, no interceptions and twice he ran for first downs. Josh Hill chipped or blocked Khalil Mack 11 times and caught three passes, one for a touchdown. Latavius Murray stepped up to get a superhuman 30 touches for 150 yards and two touchdowns.
And rookie CJ Gardner-Johnson, who started over Patrick Robinson, was outstanding. He had seven tackles, two tackles for a loss, two pass break-ups and a quarterback hit. He was all over the field and plays with a swagger that’s contagious.
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2. Cam Jordan > Khalil Mack
In a battle of defenses, at least this Sunday, Cam was greater than Khalil. Mack is the Bears superstar but on Sunday he had one quarterback hit, and that was on a play when the young Will Clapp had him. When Terron Armstead had him, he did nothing.
Cam Jordan, on the other hand, had two sacks, two tackles for loss and two quarterback hits. His numbers were better and Cam was just a disruptive force, while Mack for the most part wasn’t.
1. Payton in the NFL’s best coach
It's the same number one I had two weeks ago: Sean Payton is killing it.
The offensive creativity, Zach Line running the option, the personnel decisions (like playing Gardner-Johnson 91 percent of defensive snaps), and the general motivational magic have the Saints 6-1 right now without Drew Brees.
Payton is without a doubt the NFL’s coach of the year at this point and he is on a roll.