The New Orleans Saints have progressed to a 5-1 record, defeating the Jacksonville Jaguars (2-4) 13-6. The Saints defense came up big against a high-powered Jaguars offense that ranked 6th overall in total yards per game coming into today’s match, limiting the Jaguars to only 226 total yards.
On offense, in the first half, the Saints had only 11 yards rushing, but that changed in the second half when the Saints picked up over 90 yards on the ground for a total of 104 yards. Despite an ankle injury, Saints key running back, Alvin Kamara, racked up 66 combined yards rushing and receiving.
Bridgewater was 24 for 36 with 240 yards passing with a touchdown pass to Saints tight end Jared Cook. Wil Lutz made both of his field goals from 21 and 47 yards out.
On the other side of the ball, the Saints defense came up big, holding the Jaguars to just 226 yards on Offense, and only allowed four out of fourteen third down conversions. Rookie Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew passed for only 163 yards, no touchdowns and one interception, and former LSU star running back-turned Jaguar Leonard Fournette rushed for 72 yards on the ground as the Saints run defense held the Jaguars to only 75 yards on the ground. Marshon Lattimore had one interception and Defensive End Cam Jordan racked up two sacks.
Thomas Morstead, NFC special teams player of the month, had another stellar performance with six punts for over 240 yards and with five punts pinning the Jaguars inside the 20 yard line.
The Saints enjoyed better field position much of the game, and although the Saints offense did not put up a lot of points, Bridgewater did just enough in terms of clock management and ball control to come out ahead. Notably, the Saints also did a good job of taking care of the ball with no turnovers. They also had only three penalties for 35 yards, which is a significant improvement over the last few weeks. On the last drive, when the Saints had the ball with under six minutes to play, the offense came up with a few first downs and eventually made it first and goal. At that point though, with two minutes left to play, Bridgewater kneeled the ball, effectively securing the Saints fifth victory of the season.
Next Sunday, October 20, the Saints head to Soldier Field where they will face the 3-2 Chicago Bears. Bridgewater is expected to start again as Brees continues to recover from a thumb injury. Although Brees’ recovery is quicker than anticipated, with the Saints performing at a high level, Saints coach Sean Payton will probably rest him until after the bye week, which follows a home game against the Arizona Cardinals.
Scott Ploof is Publisher and Founder of Big Easy Magazine.