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John DeShazier's Saints helmet stickers from Patriots game

Brandon Coleman had an excellent game

As might be suggested by a 36-20 loss for the New Orleans Saints, there weren't a plethora of players to choose from in the "top players" categories.

OFFENSE: There have been some games where it appeared that receiver Brandon Coleman was invisible on offense, but Sunday wasn't one of those days. Coleman caught four passes for 82 yards (both second-most on the team) and a touchdown. His 5-yard score pulled the Saints to within 20-10 with 11:52 left in the first half and he established a career high in single-game receiving yards and caught the longest pass (42 yards) of his career. Coleman needs to do that consistently.

DEFENSE: Rookie cornerback Marshon Lattimore has looked forward to being tested, and he was tested early by the Patriots. Lattimore had a couple of pass breakups on throws intended for former Saints receiver Brandin Cooks, and he also finished with seven tackles. Lattimore's ability to shadow the speedy Cooks highlighted one of the characteristics that impressed the Saints, and other NFL teams, when he entered the draft. He left the game and was placed in the NFL's concussion protocol, so his availability for next Sunday's game against Carolina will be determined this week.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Rookie running back Alvin Kamara gives the impression that he's going to pop a long kickoff return this season. He had a 34-yard return in the third quarter, and he obviously has home run speed. Kamara returned three kickoffs for 71 yards against the Patriots, who opted several times to kick it short and cover, rather than kick off for a touchback and allow the Saints' drives to begin at their 25-yard line. Easily could've gone with punter Thomas Morstead this week (three punts, 40.3-yard gross and net average), but we'll stick with the promising rookie.

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