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Receiver Rashid Shaheed gives New Orleans Saints big boost in punt return game against Packers

Cornerback Alontae Taylor had five pass breakups and a sack

Check out the game action from the New Orleans Saints game against the Green Bay Packers in Week 3 of the 2023 NFL season on Sept. 24 at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
Check out the game action from the New Orleans Saints game against the Green Bay Packers in Week 3 of the 2023 NFL season on Sept. 24 at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Green Bay, Wis. – The New Orleans Saints lost the game (18-17) and, unfortunately, their starting quarterback (Derek Carr, shoulder) on Sunday against the Packers at Lambeau Field.

Still, there were performances worth noting for the Saints, who are 2-1.

OFFENSE: Receiver Chris Olave almost has a standing appointment in this space, either as the honoree or an honorable mention. Eight catches for 104 yards – with another ludicrous one-handed catch – gave Olave two 100-yard games in the first three games of the season. If he's guardable, it hasn't been shown so far. He hasn't gotten into the end zone yet, but he continues to set the table for scores and the things that he worked on during the offseason (having stronger hands, catching contested catches) are showing each and every week.

DEFENSE: Alontae Taylor had a critical pass interference in the fourth quarter, a 45-yarder that set up Green Bay's first touchdown. But as notable as that was, it was overshadowed by his overall body of work Sunday – five passes defensed, a sack, two tackles for loss, a quarterback hit and five tackles. Two of his pass breakups came at the goal line and in the end zone, preventing touchdowns. His sack pushed Green Bay out of field goal range in the first half and helped keep the Packers scoreless. It feels safe to say, after three games, that Taylor has found a real comfort zone as the nickel cornerback. He may not be spotless all the time, but he has a ferocity and competitiveness that is hard to match.

SPECIAL TEAMS: When you return a punt 76 yards for a touchdown, this is a gimme. Receiver Rashid Shaheed got the perfect blocking and provided the perfect return to give New Orleans a 14-0 lead in the second quarter. He's capable of that level of lightning strike at any time, and has shown it as a receiver this season, too. But Shaheed is one of the most prolific returners in college football history, and the Packers erred when challenging him Sunday. He may not be similarly challenged for a few weeks now that he has shown, again, that his speed can be devastating,

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