Philadelphia – The New Orleans Saints couldn't cobble together enough play-making from enough play-makers in their 40-29 loss to Philadelphia on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field.
In their third consecutive loss, the Saints (5-5) had several performances of note, but none so noteworthy as to prevent the team from falling into a 33-7 hole. Still, a few stood out.
OFFENSE: Tight end Adam Trautman has had some difficult days this season, including a few notable drops and a lost fumble. And Sunday didn't have the ending anyone envisioned for him – he left the game after a tough catch in the fourth quarter. But before he had to exit, he had put together his best game of the season – five catches for 58 yards, including an 18-yard touchdown in second quarter to pull New Orleans to within 14-7. The catch was a fantastic adjustment by Trautman, who stopped as he ran left along the back of the end zone, and lunged back to his right to snare the pass from Trevor Siemian. The 17-yard catch in the fourth quarter on which he was injured probably was his most acrobatic catch of the season, a contested grab between two defenders.
DEFENSE: Safety Marcus Williams was credited with three passes defensed. Two of them were so spectacular, displaying his range and speed, that to call them passes defensed is a major understatement. Williams finished with seven tackles, too, but his ability to play center field probably prevented a couple of touchdowns.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Punter Blake Gillikin hasn't won a special teams player of the week award, and he won't get it after Sunday's game. But it was another outstanding game for Gillikin, among several this season. He punted six times for a 49.8-yard gross and a 42.7-yard net. Best, half of his punts were downed inside the 20. Of course, two of them were kept inside the 10 by teammates, and their hustle shouldn't be overlooked. But the punter has to give them enough loft and spin in order to allow them to get to the ball, and Gillikin does that as well as anyone. He has been as good a special teams player as New Orleans has had this season.