Welcome back everyone to #4Downs where each game for the Saints is broken down and talked about in four different aspects!
1st Down: Turnovers Were a Killer
The Saints could have won the game Thursday night against the Patriots if they didn’t turn the ball over four times. The most telling stat of the game was that the Patriots had 22 of their 34 points come off of turnovers, two of which were touchdowns. It doesn’t take an analyst to realize that when you do that, odds are you won’t win the game. This is definitely going to be a major point of emphasis as training camp progresses and we get closer to the start of the season.
2nd Down: Damn Daniel!
Daniel Lasco, who was the Saints picked him up in the second round undoubtedly made fans scratch their heads. Why pick up another running back and not get someone to help out the offensive line? Well, the running back out of California had a great performance on Thursday night, not only on the offensive side of the ball, but on special teams as well. On one kickoff he showed promise by going through two guys to tackle the returner. I questioned why the Saints picked him up in the draft, but now I can see why he was picked up. He alos wasn’t half bad as a running back with 18 yards off of five carries, which doesn’t sound like much but the Saints running game was virtually nonexistent on Thursday.
3rd Down: Defense Was On Point
The Saints defense may have been the lone highlight on Thursday, especially on third down holding New England to 3-of-14. Kasim Edebali has to be the player of the game getting three tackles and two sacks Thursday. He has really started to assert his dominance to start the preseason and could be in consideration for a spot in the starting front seven. The only thing on the defense that is concerning me is that Stephone Anthony was carted off during the game. Sean Payton didn’t mention anything concerning the severity of the injury, but if Anthony is out for any time during the regular season, that is another major loss for the Saints defense after losing Kikaha for the year to an ACL injury.
4th Down: Big and Small
The Saints receiving corps showed a lot of promise as usual in the first preseason game. Heck, from the first play at the line of scrimmage, Drew Brees sent a deep ball to Brandin Cooks to get the team in ideal field position. But the conversation quickly turned to Michael Thomas and Tommylee Lewis. Thomas, a 6’3” rookie out Ohio State has dazzled the people watching training camp at the Greenbrier with acrobatic catches and natural ability. He lived up to the hype leading the team in receiving yards. Lewis, who is 5’7”, has also been one of the shining stars of camp, has shown a lot of promise after one preseason game under his belt. If there’s one undrafted free agent that makes the cut for this team, it has to be Lewis.