3 takeaways from winning the week of saints 7 | Launderer report


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    Steph Chambers / Getty Images

    The New Orleans Saints won a 13-10 victory over the Seattle Seahawks on Monday night in one of the ugliest games of the 2021 NFL season.

    Jameis Winston was unable to move the ball consistently, but he did enough on three scoring drives to give the Saints the lead.

    Winston relied on a heavy dose of Alvin Kamara in the passing game to work the ball on the pitch. Kamara finished with 10 receptions on 11 targets. No other Saints player has had more than three receptions.

    Defensively, the Saints limited Geno Smith and the Seattle offense to nothing other than an 84-yard touchdown pass to DK Metcalf in the first quarter.

    Smith barely had time to pick Metcalf and Tyler Lockett in the rainy conditions inside Lumen Field.

    Demario Davis led the Saints’ high pressure with three quarterback hits and two sacks. Cameron Jordan, Malcolm Jenkins, and Tapoh Kpassagnon all got a bag each.

    The win gave the Saints 4-2 momentum after their week off, but they need to be much better to compete with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 8.

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    John Froschauer / Associated press

    Kamara was the New Orleans offensive Monday night.

    The running back carried the ball 20 plays for 51 yards and was Winston’s most reliable target with 10 receptions for 128 yards and a touchdown.

    Without Kamara, the Saints would have floundered on the offensive end of the ball and probably wouldn’t have scored a touchdown.

    An argument can be made that the Saints did the right thing by trusting their best player in a game played in bad weather. This strategy worked because New Orleans didn’t have to rack up a ton of points thanks to their defense.

    Kamara has now carried the ball 20 or more times in four of the six games. He has 15 receptions on 19 targets in the last two games against Seattle and the Washington football team.

    Kamara is more than capable of handling a heavy workload, but Winston needs to find someone else he can trust with the passing game in case his running back is stopped by an opponent.

    That could be the case in Week 8 against the much-vaunted Tampa Bay defense. If Devin White and Co. also removes Kamara from the short passing game, Winston will be forced to target Tre’Quan Smith, Marquez Callaway and others to work on the pitch.

    Using Kamara at a high pace worked on Monday because Seattle wasn’t offering much on offense, but that strategy won’t work in Week 8 and beyond.

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    John Froschauer / Associated press

    If you take away Metcalf’s 84-yard touchdown, the Saints have conceded 135 total yards.

    The weak concession can be attributed to a huge pass rush that didn’t let Geno Smith sit in the pocket and a questionable Seahawks attacking game plan that relied heavily on backup running backs.

    The Saints sacked Smith five times and the pressure kept on until the final whistle. They pushed the Seahawks back inside their own 10-yard line in their last practice of the game.

    The sacks of Malcolm Jenkins and Demario Davis were the perfect crowning of a defensive performance that was one of New Orleans’ best of the season.

    Dennis Allen’s unit set a new season record in yards allowed. He surrendered 219 total yards in Seattle. His previous best was 229 allowed yards in the Week 1 win over the Green Bay Packers.

    The Saints’ defense held an opponent within 100 yards for the fifth time in six games. Alex Collins, Travis Homer and Rashaad Penny couldn’t do anything in the Seattle ground attack.

    Seattle didn’t have a rush play over 15 yards. The Seahawks recorded three field gains on 10 yards and only one came from a running back. Smith and tight end Gerald Everett were responsible for the other two.

    If New Orleans’ offense spits out again in Week 8, their defense needs another fantastic performance to beat the Bucs.

    Even if they lose to the Bucs, don’t be surprised if the Saints go with the defense strategy first to get a few more wins with the way this unit plays.

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    John Froschauer / Associated press

    New Orleans struggled to find a suitable replacement for Wil Lutz at kicker.

    Lutz underwent abdominal muscle surgery to start the season and has been nominated for the return of the injured reserve.

    In his absence, the Saints used Aldrick Rosas and Cody Parkey in an attempt to stabilize the kicking game. Rosas went 1-for-4 on field goals and Parkey was 3-for-5 on extra points.

    Rookie Brian Johnson entered the void on Monday and made his two field goal attempts, one from 21 yards and the other from 33 yards.

    Johnson didn’t kick too impressive a distance, but he did the job right when called up. It was pretty important, Monday being a low scoring game.

    Johnson probably won’t last the entire season on the New Orleans roster, but he could help the Saints wait while Lutz returns to 100%.

    After the kicking issues with Rosas and Parkey, you wouldn’t have blamed the Saints for rushing Lutz for consistency in position.

    With Johnson, the Saints can at least feel more comfortable week after week before their top kicker returns.

    Statistics obtained from Professional football benchmark.

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