ANALYSIS NFL

New Orleans Saints Recap: 3 takeaways in Saints win over the Rams

A career game from Michael Thomas helped the New Orleans Saints record their seventh straight win in a 45-35 victory over the Los Angeles Rams. After a game for the ages, here are three takeaways from the win.
A career game from Michael Thomas helped the New Orleans Saints record their seventh straight win in a 45-35 victory over the Los Angeles Rams. After a game for the ages, here are three takeaways from the win.

It was the most talked about game of the week and both teams lived up to the hype. In one of the most entertaining games of the year, the New Orleans Saints defeated the Los Angeles Rams in a 45-35 victory, Sunday in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.

In what could be a preview of the NFC Championship game, New Orleans’ 10-point victory over Los Angeles was a hard-fought win in the midseason showdown.

Before falling apart in the third quarter, the Saints once held a 35-17 lead over the Rams heading into the halftime break. Despite being down by 18 points, the Rams went on an 18-0 run to tie the game at 35 apiece midway through the fourth quarter.

After back-to-back stops by New Orleans’ defense, the Saints regained the lead on a 54-yard field goal by Wil Lutz, and seal the win with a 72-yard touchdown pass from Drew Brees to Michael Thomas.

Currently the hottest team in the NFL, the Saints recorded their seventh straight victory and are now standing at 7-1 on the season. Despite a solid performance by Brandin Cooks, who recorded 114 yards on six receptions, the Rams received their first loss of the 2018 season.

3 takeaways in the win:

Brees for MVP:

Since signing with the Saints in 2006, Drew Brees has established himself as one of the best quarterbacks of his generation. Despite leading the Saints to several winning seasons, Brees has never been a serious threat to win league MVP honors, until now.

Throughout the season, Brees has been in the conversation for MVP, and on Sunday, he moved one step closer of achieving the recognition.

The 39-year old quarterback had another phenomenal performance recording 346 passing yards while throwing 25-for-36 to go along with four touchdown passes. He went the entire game without throwing a single interception, and his offensive line did an expectable job keep him safe without giving up a sack.

Not only did he showcased his talents as an all-time great quarterback, but Brees made a few plays outside of the pocket when needed for the Saints. On four carries, Brees rush for 16 yards, with his longest coming in an 11-yard rush for a much needed first down.

Even when it seemed as if the Saints were going to blow their lead in the third quarter, it was Brees who made the clutch plays to help New Orleans come away victorious. Yes, Patrick Mahomes and Todd Gurley are having great individual seasons, but Brees deserves his first MVP award following the win over the Rams.

Alvin the next great running back:

If Drew Brees falls short of winning league MVP honors, perhaps Alvin Kamara can be a dark horse for the recognition. The reigning Offensive Rookie of the year is having a great season, and Sunday’s game against the Rams was no exception.

In a game that featured the league’s best running back in Todd Gurley, it was the Saints’ second-year player who made the most noise in the backfield.

Starting with an 11-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, Kamara was the reason why New Orleans got off to a hot start. Later on that same quarter, Kamara found his way back into the end zone following a 16-yard touchdown pass from Brees.

As the Saints second best player, Kamara recorded a total of 116 yards on 19 carries and four receptions, as well as ending the game with three touchdowns in the win.

A star is born in Michael Thomas:

What makes New Orleans a dangerous team is the number of offensive weapons the Saints can throw at their opponents. Each game one can predict great performances from Brees and Kamara. But it is the play from their second tier of players that makes the Saints nearly unstoppable.

Last week it was the performance of Mark Ingram to help lead them to a win over the Minnesota Vikings. This week, it was the historic performance from Michael Thomas. Although Brees and Kamara had great games, Thomas was by far the best player on the field for the Saints.

Thomas finished the game with a career-high 12 receptions and set a franchise record of 221 receiving yards in the win. Despite recording only one touchdown on the day, it was the most imporant play of the game. 

Thomas struck a dagger through the hearts of the Rams on a pivotal third-down play in the fourth quarter. Brees threw a 72-yard touchdown pass to Thomas that seal the deal for the Saints against the Rams.

However, Thomas’ play was overshadowed by his touchdown celebration where he got out an old-school flip phone, reminiscent of Joe Horn‘s Sunday night TD celebration in 2003. Like Horn, Thomas was penalized, but the Rams recovered from the play.

After a thrilling victory against the Rams, the New Orleans Saints will look to continue their hot streak Sunday in an NFC showdown against the Seattle Seahawks. To stay up to date on all things Saints and more, be sure to subscribe to You Can Argue That Sports and receive notifications of new posts and podcasts by email.

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