Breaking News
More () »

Forecast: Let's all bathe in Saints optimism

Jameis Winston looked like the Saints' franchise quarterback for the next decade. Will he be? Let's dream big dreams in August.
Credit: AP
New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston (2) reacts after throwing a touchdown pass in the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars in New Orleans, Monday, Aug. 23, 2021. (AP Photo/Derick Hingle)

NEW ORLEANS — If you are looking for measured, responsible, realistic Saints analysis after they stomped the Jacksonville Jaguars into the dirt Monday night...stop reading. 

The Saints looked amazing, treating the Urban Myers Jaguars like he treated Vanderbilt while he coached Florida. And I am going to drink all this Saints optimism like it's an ice-cold Barq's Root Beer.

I forget who said it but, “The pessimist experiences bad things twice; first when they fear the bad thing will happen, and then a second time when it actually does.”

Monday night is no time for Saints pessimism.

The Saints had their quarterback competition settled in style as Jameis Winston finished 9 of 10 for 123 and 2 touchdowns. Oh and both touchdowns were circus catches by Marquez Callaway. The Saints managed to ease our fears about quarterback and receiver in 15 short minutes. Delightful.

Jameis Winston looked like the Saints franchise quarterback for the next decade. Will he be? Let's dream big dreams in August.

The only thing different about the Saints in the first quarter since 2017 was Sean Payton was wearing a hat instead of a visor, which was weird and not the natural order of things. Sean please put the visor back on. You in a hat feels like some alternate universe, then again if Monday was what the alternate Saints universe looks like, keep the hat.

Jameis when he's good is a hell of a watch isn't he? Monday night convinced me of one thing; the 2021 Saints are gonna be fun. Winston might be a roller-coaster, but roller-coasters are fun right?

Sean Payton was impressed, “They pressured him on one play, he was able to quick switch protections and get into a route for a touchdown.”

I said it last week and I'll say it again; good Jameis is intoxicating.

The only thing better than the Saints looking like they have a top 10 quarterback was Marquez Callaway giving them an excellent receiver option when going into training camp it looked like they might have none. Michael Thomas is hurt, Deonte Harris is facing a suspension and receiver looked like a giant box of drops and disappointment. To the rescue stepped Marquez Callaway with 5 grabs for 104 yards and 2 breathtaking receptions, both for scores.

Callaway wasn't the only receiver who showed up Monday; Lil Jordan Humphrey bounced back from a bad week of practice with 4 receptions for 74 yards. It's only preseason you say? How would you feel about the receiver if the Saints hadn't dominated the Jaguars with their main players?

While the Saints offense was giving us the answers we'd hoped for at quarterback and receiver the defense continues to look like the top 5 unit they were in 2021 according to advanced statistics.

The Saints defensive line shoved the Jaguars starting offensive line all over the new look Caesars Superdome and held 1st overall draft choice Trevor Lawrence to 3 points. They hit and harassed him and looked incredibly fast doing it. Maybe the Jaguars are slow and terrible? The Saints held the Jaguars to 45 yards rushing on 20 carries. The Saints run defense is still brick wall. 

It's August enjoy life little.

The only downsides to Monday night were the Saints had so many injuries at tight end I thought for a second Mickey Loomis might ask Urban Meyers for Tim Tebow's cell phone. Hopefully Adam Trautman and Nick Vannett are ok and the Saints aren't digging through other teams trash to locate tight end depth.  The search for a kicker continues as Aldrick Rosas made a 52yard field goal but missed an extra point.

A month ago I thought the Saints had too many questions to answer in order to be a playoff contender. Two preseason games have shown they have good potential answers for a lot of those questions. 

Am I being too optimistic and unreasonable? I'm going to watch those Marquez Callaway touchdowns again, so take your realistic Saints expectations somewhere else.  We are swimming in delusional optimism where I'm living. 

Ralph Malbrough is a contributing writer and Saints fan living in Houston. Email him at saintshappyhour@gmail.com, find him on Facebook, or follow him on Twitter at @SaintsForecast or download the Saints Happy Hour Podcast.

(Warning: The Saints Happy Hour Podcast may contain language that is not suitable for all audiences)

More Saints Forecast: