The Saints did not deserve this win, but the Browns will be the Browns as kicker Zane Gonzalez missed two extra points and two field goals (one being the game-tying field goal with 0:08 seconds left) to lose the game. Again, the Saints had no business winning this game with how poorly they played. The Browns lost the game, but hey at least credit the Browns defense. Their pass rush seemed to confuse the Saints O-line and caused the Saints to only convert four third downs the whole game. If Zane Gonzalez was able to do what kickers are supposed to do, the Browns would have won this game by at least eight.
Last week, I wrote that the Saints defense needed an awakening after their stunning slugfest loss to the Tampa Bay Bucs. I also mentioned that someone other than Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara need to step up for this offense. I don’t think either happened to be honest with you. Early on it felt as if the offense and defense switched roles from last weekend. The offense scored only THREE POINTS in the first THREE quarters against the Browns. Michael Thomas had another fumble early on along with Ted Ginn, and Drew Brees missed a wide open Ben Watson in the end zone and underthrew what would have been a touchdown to Ted Ginn. It remains to be seen who is going to step up on offense as another threat for Drew Brees.
Once again, Watson with three catches, Ted Ginn with four, and Tre’Quan Smith with just one. It is hard to see who on this team is going to step up and help this offense. Cameron Meredith is still not healthy enough to start, and you can tell Mark Ingram is sorely missed. Kamara cannot be used to his full effectiveness when he is getting 40 touches a game and teams are starting to stack the box. He is much more useful when you can get him in space.
On the other end of the field, the defense did alright I guess. At least a hell of a lot better than they did against the Bucs last Sunday. However, the secondary continues to be a huge concern as Ken Crawly (once again) gives up a 47-yard touchdown score with 1:16 left in the fourth quarter to Antonio Callaway. Crawly once again blows coverage and gets absolutely BURNED (see video below) and then gives up a huge gain to Callaway AGAIN to set up the potential tying field goal!
Tyrod Taylor finds Antonio Callaway for SIX! 😱 pic.twitter.com/BCWPGQ7PWL
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) September 16, 2018
The other corner, Marshon Lattimore, continues to look like his head got way too big in his Rookie of the Year season because he doesn’t look like a lock down corner anymore. Marcus Williams was the only silver lining in this defense as he picked off Tyrod Taylor to set up the Saints go-ahead touchdown. Sean Peyton took the words right out of my mouth in his post-game press conference when he said, “I am not really happy right now. I am glad we won……but we have a lot of work to do.” Damn right the Saints do. That secondary is miserable, the pass rush was still nonexistent, and above all the team just looks like they are lost. If Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara weren’t on this team, the Saints would be 0-2 easily. Now, they head to Atlanta to take on the Falcons in a huge early season divisional game. Things are going to get a lot more difficult down the stretch with this team’s schedule. Sean Peyton is right, this team has A LOT of work to do.
Oh by the way, Michael Thomas is the best wide out in the league. Don’t @ me! 269 yards, 3 touchdowns on 28 receptions! That 28 receptions number in two games is another NFL record by the way.