The New Orleans Saints improved to 2-1 with a strong Week 3 victory over the New England Patriots. It was a great bounce-back performance for the Saints following a 26-7 loss to the Carolina Panthers. The Saints got back on track with a great offensive and defensive performance, beating the Patriots 28-13.
The Saints were a question mark entering the season as Drew Brees retired in the offseason. Jameis Winston has taken over for Brees and has been relatively successful thus far. It has been evident that the Saints need star receiver Michael Thomas back to make this offense elite.
With that said, here are three Saints takeaways from a strong week three win over the Patriots.
3. The Saints defense is elite
Aside from the loss to the Panthers in week two, the Saints' defense has been elite. They have been able to put pressure on quarterbacks as well as force turnovers. Against the Patriots, the Saints defense picked off Mac Jones three times and had two sacks.
The Saints have a well-balanced defense with a good combination of pass rushers, linebackers, and talent in the secondary. Marshon Lattimore, Malcolm Jenkins, and P.J. Williams all came away with an interception, showing the ability of the secondary.
2. The Saints need another weapon
The Saints' offense was improved today, but they are far from an elite unit. Star running back Alvin Kamara picked up everyone else's slack today, but the Saints will need other weapons in the future. They have an elite wide receiver in Michael Thomas, who will be out for at least a few more games.
So far this season, the Saints have had to rely on Marquez Callaway to be wide receiver one. Callaway was signed by the team last season after going undrafted in the 2020 draft. He has shown flashes of being good, but he is not ready to be a wide receiver one.
This week, Callaway led the Saints with four receptions for 41 yards and a touchdown. Even when Thomas returns, they need to look into adding another weapon to the offense.
1. Alvin Kamara needs to carry the offense
While adding another weapon is the ultimate goal, Kamara needs to carry the load until then. Kamara is a threat in both the rushing and receiving game, which makes him difficult for defenses to stop.
He was not given many touches in week two as he only had eight carries and four receptions. The Saints made it a point of emphasis to get him the ball this week against the Patriots. Kamara had 24 carries for 89 yards and three receptions for 29 yards and a touchdown.
If Ne Orleans is going to be competitive, it will need to keep feeding Kamara. Kamara is a matchup nightmare and the only consistently reliable weapon until Thomas comes back.
The Saints have a challenging journey ahead if they want to make the playoffs. They are in a competitive division with the 3-0 Carolina Panthers, defending champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Atlanta Falcons. The divisional games will be vital for New Orleans' chances at making the playoffs. Their defense should continue being elite, but it will come down to if the offense can improve.
Winston has a tall task in front of him with a lack of weapons at his disposal. The Saints will face the New York Giants next Sunday, which is a game they should win. Next week, they need to pick up a win as they will face more formidable opponents down the line.