Coming off an abysmal showing during their Week 16 match-up with the Dolphins where they were playing undermanned, the Saints bounced back in a major way to defeat the Panthers on Sunday and stay in the playoff mix. Even without the heroics of Sean Payton on the sidelines, the Saints have still been able to come away with pivotal wins late in the season.
As they continue to stay in the fight, the Saints are without a doubt ready for whatever challenges come their way next. Better late than never, New Orleans has managed to hold their own in spite of their recent shortcomings. So with all this going for the Saints, we’ll now take a look at the two biggest takeaways from their much-needed Week 17 win over the Panthers.
Saints Week 17 Takeaways
Taysom Hill had a big day for the Saints
With 222 passing yards on 17 of 28 passing and 45 rush yards on 12 carries, Taysom Hill once again showcased his ability to dominate the game with his arm and legs. Now that he’s officially found his way as the Saints starting quarterback, we all should expect big things from Hill in the regular season finale.
Even with all the obstacles he’s had to overcome this season, he’s still played well enough to keep them alive in the NFC playoff race and will be ready to lead them to another quality win against the Atlanta Falcons next weekend. Beating the Atlanta Falcons may seem like a simple task, but they have shown a ton of fight this season and Hill is well aware of this. So he’ll need to put on another electric performance for the Saints heading into Week 18.
Alvin Kamara’s gotten his mojo back
Even though he had a mediocre rushing game, Alvin Kamara had a terrific day on the receiving front for New Orleans. With a series of timely catches for big gains that kept the chains moving for the Saints, Kamara reminded us all why he’s one of the best dual-threat running backs in the game when fully healthy. His speed, agility, and explosion coming off passing routes is truly a nightmare scenario for opposing secondary’s to prepare for.
Plus there’s no better time than the present for Kamara to re-establish his groove and once again play Pro Bowl caliber football for the Saints – especially considering that a playoff spot is on the line for them and they’ll need to do everything they can to hail victorious against the Falcons. So if the Saints want a fighting chance at making the playoffs, then Kamara must come through for them once again in Week 18.
Now that their approaching the end of what’s been a long and highly eventful season for them, the Saints are more than likely going to endure a slew of changes this offseason regardless of whether or not they make the postseason. However, they’ve still found some bright spots and undoubtedly have proven themselves as a top-notch organization in the NFL. They may not be Super Bowl contenders just yet, but in due time that’ll all change and sometimes all it takes is a year of experimentation, which they now have under their belt.