Foxborough, Mass. – Club Dub was back in swing on Sunday at Gillette Stadium because the New Orleans Saints ended their two-game losing streak with a convincing 34-0 victory over New England.
In raising their record to 3-2, the Saints very much were the team they've hoped to be, and received the kinds of individual performances that made it possible.
OFFENSE: One person and one group have borne the brunt of the vitriol directed at the Saints this season – offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael, and the offensive line. Each performed admirably Sunday. New Orleans totaled only 304 yards, but 136 of them were rushing yards, helping the Saints to a commanding time of possession advantage (39:34 to 20:26). Best, the Saints were 3-for-4 in the red zone, including a shovel pass touchdown to tight end Foster Moreau, and a drive that ended with three runs by Alvin Kamara. Quarterback Derek Carr was sacked twice, once because a blitz wasn't picked up and once because he possibly held on a bit too long. But overall, the offense was efficient and productive, and Carmichael and the offensive line deserve their flowers for that.
DEFENSE: Carl Granderson was not a man to be trifled with Sunday. The defensive end had a star-caliber game – a sack for a 13-yard loss, three tackles for loss, two quarterback hits and four tackles. Granderson seemed to spend as much time in New England's backfield as the Patriots' running backs, and had a pivotal assist his hit on Patriots quarterback Mac Jones just as Jones was preparing to release a pass forced a fluttering ball to safety Tyrann Mathieu, who intercepted the pass (the 30th of his career) and scored on a 27-yard return to give the Saints a 7-0 lead. Granderson set the table, and then he ate.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Coach Dennis Allen said he has full confidence in kicker Blake Grupe, and he proved it by sending out the rookie to attempt field goals of 54 and 53 yards. Grupe made both of them, just as he's made almost every kick he has attempted. He's now 11 of 12 this season, with three from 50-plus yards. If Sunday's game didn't eliminate any remaining skeptics, they simply won't be eliminated.
Check out the game action shots from the New Orleans Saints game against the New England Patriots in Week 5 of the 2023 NFL season.