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Week 2: Rookie Standouts

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Week 2 is now in the books and what a week it was. With last second heroics, head scratching coaching decisions and comebacks galore, it’s time once again to look at three rookies that made big contributions to their teams’ results this week. Let’s get into it. 

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Aidan Hutchinson, Edge – Detroit Lions  

Hutchinson was held to a solitary tackle in his NFL debut against the Philadelphia Eagles but commented afterwards that he had learnt a lot. He’s obviously a quick learner because he exploded against the Washington Commanders. In the first half, he became the first Lion rookie ever to record three sacks in a game and the fourth youngest ever to do so. 

The 2nd overall pick has now shown the rest of the NFL that he’s the real deal, and though he may not get three every week, the sacks will likely continue to come as he gains more experience. 

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Jaylen Watson, Cornerback – Kansas City Chiefs 

It’s not often a seventh-round pick gets a spotlight as a rookie, but when you now own the record for the longest go-ahead fourth-quarter touchdown by a rookie, I think it is well deserved. 

Jaylen Watson was thrust into Thursday night’s game after an injury to first-rounder Trent McDuffie and knew he was likely going to have a busy evening as the Los Angeles Chargers would more than likely target his side of the field. That much was true, but Watson would only allow 5 completions from 12 targets before his game-sealing pick 6, and as the dust settled on the Chiefs’ 27-24 win, Watson deservedly won AFC Defensive Player of the Week. 

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Garrett Wilson, Wide Receiver – New York Jets  

As the Browns scored to extend their lead to 30-17 with 1:55 left in the game, Garrett Wilson felt responsible as he had dropped a pass from Joe Flacco that would have been enough for a first down and extended the drive. Had the game petered out after the Browns touchdown, it would have been a bittersweet day for Wilson with his touchdown and 75 yards, but there was more drama to come. 

The last two minutes of this game turned into insanity, and after the onside kick was recovered, Wilson had a chance to make amends. He gladly took the opportunity, catching a 15-yard pass to score his second touchdown of the game and complete the unlikely comeback. 

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Bucs @Saints Week 2 Recap

The Saints fall in the home opener 20-10 against the Bucs. Brady still didn’t do much. The refs were terrible, Winston played with a broken back and the Saints offense gave this game away. Let break down the loss quarter by quarter.

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First Quarter

The Saints offense started this game well, there was much more rhythm and rushed the ball really well with Ingram.  Peat was a pulling guard monster on the opening drive.

The Saints showed a different look with Taysom Hill at QB, wasn’t the conventional QB power. Looked to have a pass option out wide to Deonte Harty, with the option if Taysom didn’t like the pass, to run, he did and ran for a good gain.

The drive stalled and ended in a 31-yard field, disappointing to not get a TD, but it was promising to see the Saints offense have some rhythm, on the ground at least.

Brady and the Bucs started in the worst way possible for them, another Brady turnover against the Saints. Brady fumbled a 4th and 1 snap that was recovered by Demario Davis on the Saints 26. The Saints had a huge chance to put a stamp on the game here, with any points, especially a TD.

Unfortunately, the drive stalled the Saints were on the right side of an unnecessary roughness penalty after the Bucs blitz got home on 3rd down, which kept the drive alive. Before finally, a Taysom Hill run didn’t work, forcing a Saints punt.

An unusual poor punt from Gillikin, he had a real chance to pin the Bucs deep. Instead, the Bucs started with the ball at their own 23.

Second Quarter

Tampa started the 2nd quarter with a 3rd and 6 after a Fournette run and Incomplete pass ended the first quarter.

Tampa dialled up an excellent play to get Evans matched up in the slot against Justin Evans. Evans ran a kind of wheel route from the slot and the Saints defender got caught up in a rub, designed to get Evans clear. It was a really well drawn up play, with the Bucs now in business after the 41-yard completion.

The Bucs were now up to the Saints 30, then the 17 after an excellent run up the middle by Fournette, which turned out to be Fournette’s longest of the game (13 yards).

4th and 1 on the Saints 9-yard line concluded this drive, with Kentavius Street somehow getting into the backfield unblocked and disrupting the run. Leading to Carl Granderson standing tall and stopping Fournette for a loss. Allowing the Saints to take over inside their own 10, with again a chance for the offense to take the bull by the horns.

They didn’t and the offense went 3 and out quickly. This was a ‘what could have been’ drive. Winston looked to have Olave deep down the right sideline. Winston overthrow him on third down ending the drive there.

Getting no yards, also meant the Saints were losing the field position battle (a trend that continued for much of the game). Especially with Gillikin not on top form, the Bucs started again with good field position at the 50. They couldn’t take advantage gaining 1 yard on 3 plays. Mainly because of Pete Werner, Werner had another great game. He was excellent against the run all game and made at least 2 really good plays in pass coverage one on this drive and had a PBU on the Bucs first drive of the game. He has quickly become a key piece to the Saints defense.

Neither offense could do anything to end the half. There were signs on both Saints drives that Winston’s back was limiting him more than we were being told. He had a chance twice to scramble on third down, on he had a real chance to get the first both times but chose to keep his eyes downfield which nearly cost them. As he was stripped from behind on one of the plays, luckily James Hurst fell on it.

The Saints opted not to kick a 57-yard field goal with 28 seconds left and instead punted back to the Bucs. I understand the thought process at the time, up 3 and a miss would have given the Bucs good  field position to try and end the half with some points.  I think Allen needed to show some aggression here and trust Lutz. Points were at a premium in this game.

Brady Knelt, after the punt to end the half.

Third Quarter

Bucs started with the ball in the second half and didn’t do much again. They could get anything going on the ground and it wasn’t much better through the air. You could see Brady getting more and more frustrated with what the Saints were doing in coverage, so much so, Brady broke another tablet on the sideline.

Unfortunately, the Saints offense still couldn’t respond with more failed deep shots to Olave forcing an immediate three and out. What’s most frustrating about these attempts is it looked like Olave had a step on the defender most times, the play was there to be made. Winston just could connect.

Gillikin had another poor punt giving the Bucs another short field to work with. This was a huge factor in this game the Bucs were regularly starting past their 30-yard line, this was very rarely the case for the Saints.

Finally, the Saints defense caved just enough. Brady and the Bucs had finally broken the drought against the Saints and scored their first point in 7 quarters.

 After a very nice rub route concept again got Breshad Perriman open to keep the Bucs offense alive on a third down and long. The Bucs only gained 28-yards on this drive but again because of their field position that was enough to get them into FG range.

Next is where it all started to unravel for the Saints. The offense found rhythm that we hadn’t seen since the very first drive of the game, great runs by Ingram and Dwayne Washington. With some nice completions mixed in from Jameis leading the team all the way down to the Redzone. Until a very nice 9-yard run by Ingram was capped with a killer game-changing fumble. A textbook punch out caused the fumble and, in a game, where any points were like gold dust for the Saints to not punch in a great drive, turned into a huge momentum changer.

Fourth Quarter

The Saints defense came up with another 3rd and short stuff to force a 4th and 1 on the Bucs 19-yard line. When a severely unusual mistake by the Saints special teams kept the drive going, a 12 men on the field penalty, gave Brady another crack.

As was the way Brady still couldn’t move the ball, after a deep attempt to Mike Evans was well covered by Marshon Lattimore as it had been all day. Lattimore had been dominating the matchup again in this one and Brady was frustrated, he marched down the field demanding a flag from the refs and exchanged words with Lattimore.

It was at this point all hell broke loose. Fournette push Lattimore, Lattimore pushed back, nothing unusual nothing to major. Then from the sideline, encouraged by the ‘retired’ former Bucs HC Bruce Arians who for some reason was on the Bucs sideline. Mike Evans came bursting onto the field and flattened Lattimore from Behind. A significant scrum ensued, causing the eyes in the sky in New York, to eject Lattimore and Evans.

This, in my opinion was a joke, Evans came  from the sideline and escalated the whole thing with an unnecessary hit on Lattimore, he and he alone should have been thrown out, with Lattimore and Fournette receiving 15-yard penalties.

This decision from the people who are supposed to be removed from the situation, so they can review footage to get these calls right. As per usual got it wrong, which caused major effects on the game.  See the video below and make up your own mind.

Evans and Lattimore ejected after Bucs, Saints scuffle – ESPN Video

This was where the implosion happened, Winston tried Olave again deep and underthrow him (another sign of the back causing an issue) and was intercepted. Winston went on to be intercepted on the next 2 Saints drives after that. Both were bad throws one was a bad miss to TE Juwan Johnson; the other Winston did not see the Robber (S Mike Edwards) and throw a pick 6. The coverage looked very similar to what the Saints used last season on P.J. Williams’ pick 6 on Brady.

Sprinkle in a Brady touchdown drive in-between aided by some poorly officiated penalties against the Saints and P.J. Williams being in primary coverage for the touchdown when Lattimore would have been if he didn’t get thrown out. That was the end of the contest for the Saints.

The offense did find rhythm to get one TD on the board with nice passes to Mike Thomas and Juwan Johnson and a PI call on another deep shot to Olave, but it was all too little too late.

The final very cruel dagger was, finally, a deep shot to Olave worked for 51-yard gain. It could have given the Saints a small window to come back, but the receiver was judged to have fumbled the ball, as he had not been touched down after completing the catch and then fumbling.

From one angle the broadcast showed it looked like Olave’s foot was touched on the way down, therefore meaning the ruling should have been a 51-yard completion. It was hard to tell though.


The Saints should have won this game, the defense stifled Brady again and the Bucs could do nothing in the run game.

But the offense couldn’t capitalise on the fortunate cards they were dealt, it felt like 13 points would have won this game, I really think the defense could have protected that. Ultimately the offense turned it over 5 times and that isn’t going to beat anyone. Let alone the Goat.

I think the offense will get there, the talk all off-season has been that as OC Pete Carmichael has called plays before, so he will be fine. Well, let’s not forget he had Drew Brees when he called plays before, Brees was effectively an OC on the field who could decide how he wanted to play. I think Pete is still trying to figure his offensive identity with no Brees and no Payton.

Brady made enough plays when needed and the Bucs defense, came up big down the stretch.

Finally note on this game, the officials were horrific, not just calls against the Saints but a couple of the call against the Bucs earlier in the game were awful too. The NFL needs to fix its officiating crisis because too much of their incompetence is having an impact on the results of games.

I will be previewing of all and recapping all the New Orleans Saints games this season on New Orleans Saints – Full10Yards

Please let me know your feedback on this article and the rest throughout the season, I’m always looking to improve and add things that people want to read about. I will back later in the week to preview Saints @ Panthers, so please keep an eye out for that.

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Week Two Preview Bucs @ Saints- Key Matchups And More

After a bonkers week one victory against the Falcons. The Saints move on to another divisional foe, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Tom Brady leads the Bucs into the Superdome for the Saints home opener, with both teams 1-0.

I’m going to highlight 3 key matchups. who’s playing and who’s not? and of course my score prediction for the game.

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Saints And Bucs Overview

If you’d told me heading into the 4th quarter of Saints Vs Falcons last week that the Saints would end up winning, I might have believed you. As let’s be fair its perfectly believable that the Falcons would blow a 4th quarter lead. Where I wouldn’t have believed you is if you’d told me the offense was the reason the Saints completed the comeback.   

New Orleans looked completely disjointed for 3 quarters against Atlanta, the offense couldn’t do anything either, other than Taysom Hill doing Taysom Hill things. The offense had no rhythm and really struggled to get anything going.

Until the 4th quarter. led by QB Jameis Winston, who completed 13 of 16 passes for 213 yards and two touchdowns. In the 3 quarters before that, Winston went only 10 of 18 for 56 yards. All his playmakers stepped up, with especially encouraging performances from Michael Thomas (after a sluggish first half) and free agent addition Jarvis Landry, who suddenly turned into an elite downfield playmaker.

Josh Norris on Twitter: “29 year old Jarvis Landry becoming a vertical playmaker feels unprecedented considering he had a 6.2 aDOT in the first 4 years of his career” / Twitter

If this version of the offense shows up for the majority of the season, then the whole league will be on notice that this Jameis Winston led team is coming and nobody is safe.

Consistency is key though and the Saints offense needs to prove this week that it can be really good but for more than 1 quarter.

The Bucs enter week 2, coming off a far different game. It all seemed fairly routine for them to beat the Cowboys.  No dramatic 4th quarter comeback required. In fact, the Bucs were only behind for 3 minutes and 57 seconds in the whole game and cruised to a 19-3 victory.

The Bucs barely had to get out of 1st gear, they dominated a Cowboys offense that might have looked as bad as the Saints offense did, only the difference with the Cowboys wad they couldn’t do anything for all 4 quarters. A lot of that comes down to the Bucs talent on defense.

The Bucs stifled the Cowboys passing attack with a mix of speed and aggression in the front 7 and versatility in the secondary, also great preparation as LB Devin White explained here.

Devin White reveals how easy it was for Bucs to figure out Cowboys game plan (

The Bucs leaned on their running game with Leonard Fournette rushing for 127 yards, at 6 YPC. With Brady and the Bucs passing game doing what I needed to do to win the game.

This is a matchup the Saints have dominated since Brady arrived. Especially on defense. Brady in the 4 previous regular season games has been sacked 13 times, fumbled 3 times (lost 2) and been intercepted 9 times. Brady’s Bucs have only averaged 16 points per game (PPG). That average jumps up 25 PPG when the Bucs visit the Superdome, compared to 1.5 PPG when they play at home.

Despite this being a landslide for the Saints since Brady arrived, for the New Orleans to push the record to 5-0, there are certain matchups that I think are key.

Key Matchups

Saints Pass Rush

The age old trop that you must be able to disrupt brady by rushing 4, is a tiresome narrative but, it is completely true and if you do Blitz It needs to be well timed and from a place Brady isn’t expecting.

That last point is a challenge, Brady is in his 23rd NFL season (Much to his wife’s dismay) he’s seen everything at this point, there isn’t much that surprises him. The Saints have managed to surprise him and keep him out of rhythm better than anyone during Brady’s time in Tampa.

Without pressure, Brady will dice you up. New Orleans has done a great job at this previously.  I mentioned earlier how many times the Saints have sacked Brady in their last 4 meetings (13). Which works out at 3.25 sacks per game, if you add in QB hits, then New Orleans have hit Brady on average, 10.75 times a game.

That is a lot of punishment on a QB in his mid-40’s and that is one of the main reasons the Saints have had so much success in this matchup.

Now that context has been provided, let’s take a look at how the Bucs are looking entering this game.

Their O-line is missing some key pieces, all-pro center Ryan Jensen is possibly out for the season and trusted vet LT Donavon Smith could also miss this game, even if he does play it’s likely that he will be in some pain with is elbow. They also have a rookie 2nd rounder starting at LG, who allowed 3 pressures and 3 hurries week 1 Vs the Cowboys per PFF. It seems like the Bucs line can be exploited.

Brady will help by getting the ball out quickly, making it harder for the rush to get home but that does mean shots down the field might be harder for Brady to execute if he doesn’t have time to let the play develop.

The Saints D-line struggled to create pressure week 1 Vs Atlanta, PFF chart the Saints as having 4 hurries and 1 QB hit in that game. That won’t nearly cut it against Brady.

However, this matchup suits the Saints d-line much more. Last week the game plan was to keep contain and make sure there wasn’t easy running lanes for Mariota to escape the pocket. That means the Saints rushers couldn’t truly rush.

With Brady, there is no threat to run that means the Saints can pin their ears back and go after Brady. Which with the Bucs lesser o-line should be a receipt for success.

If the Saints are without Paulson Adebo for a second straight week, the Saints will need to pass rush to produce.

Saints Run Defense

Last week the Saints struggled against a very creative running game. Not just against a very mobile Marcus Mariota but Cordarrelle Patterson gashed them as well.

This week is a much more traditional running game, but a no less successful one. The Bucs ran the ball at will Vs the Cowboys in week 1.

If the Saints d-line, especially the interior struggle again this week it causes very significant issues to how the Saints want to defend Tampa.

Last season the Saints could stop the run in NICKEL, meaning they only had 2 LBs and 5 DBS on the field. This a huge advantage against a team like Tampa. It means that you have another capable defender against the pass. Rather than a slower less capable LB that Brady can exploit.

Last week against Atlanta, the Saints had to switch to their base defense (3LBs) to try and help stop the run.

If they have to do the same this week, it gives Brady a big matchup advantage. As good as Kaden Ellis has played from the SAM LB spot. You really don’t want him on the field for significant snaps because Brady will move players around to isolate them on him or another LB, with 3 LBs on the field it’s a lot easier to that.

Secondly if you can’t stop the run, play-action starts to become a much more credible threat. Brady is a machine when running play-action. Last season Brady completed 96 passes from play-action for 1211 yards, 14 TDs and 2 interceptions good for a 115.4 passer rating and was successful in a small sample size week 1.

The Saints must go back to old ways this week where stopping the run is concerned, otherwise Brady will have a much easier time picking them apart.

The Shutdown Matchups

Marshon Lattimore Vs Mike Evans (if he plays, he will. they always do against the Saints) and Carlton Davis Vs Michael Thomas. These are 2 of the juiciest CB Vs WR matchups in the league. Not just because it’s a matchup of 4 very good players, also because these players simply really don’t like each other.

There’s not holding back in these matchups and the difference between these CB/WR matchups compared to others is these CBs generally do travel. Lattimore and Davis try to matchup with Evans and Thomas on as many plays as possible.

For the most part, the CBs have had most of the success. See below from ESPN who give detail on just how much these players face off against each other.

Fantasy football 2022 Week 2 – Best and worst WR/CB matchups (

For the Saints to win, coming out on the right side of these matchups will go a long way to achieving that.

State Of The Rosters

Time to review who will play and who will not and discuss some other key points to take from the final injury report (below).

Saints– Alvin Kamara being listed as questionable is the biggest surprise here, after being limited earlier in the week, Kamara did not practice on Thursday or Friday, this is usually a sign that he would be ruled for Sunday. If he does its likely to be a limited role. I don’t think not having Kamara is as big of a deal in this matchup compared to others. The Bucs usually play Kamara well and I think the Saints strength in this game is with the WR matchup.

I think not having Adebo for this game hurts more than Kamara, even with Chris Godwin not playing the Bucs still have plenty of receiving options. With Adebo back the Saints would have been been able to have their desired starting CBs on the outside, allowing Roby to move back into the slot, in a game where pure coverage skill is what the Saints require. Adebo being back would have allowed the Saints to field their best 3 cover corners.

In regards to the other players listed as ‘questionable’ there seems to be no concern over Jameis Winston and Mark Ingram’s status after being limited all week. I am interested to see if Dwayne Washington or Tre’Quan Smith are active after missing last weeks game.

Bucs– Godwin being out was already pretty much a forgone conclusion. The biggest question entering this final injury report was Mike Evans and Julio Jones’ statuses, after being limited on Wednesday, both were downgraded to DNP. This is usually a sign of a setback. After returning in a limited capacity on Friday, I expect them both to play, though it will be interesting to how healthy they are.

Donovan Smith being listed as doubtful, is interesting. Earlier in the week Todd Bowles said this was going to be a pain management thing for Smith. So this appears to be a true game time decision and a huge one at that. Marcus Davenport against a back up tackle yes please!!!.

Score Prediction

With the Saints d-line having a more static target to aim at this week I think we see a far more improved version of them and see some meaningful pressure on Brady. I especially look for Marcus Davenport to have a dominate game.

With Paulson Adebo out and a lot of new faces starting, I think the Saints secondary struggles a bit more than in previous games. I think Brady will make some big throws with a least a couple of 30+ yard completions but I think the Saints hold firm in the redzone to force some field goals.

Overall, this is of course a tough matchup, regardless of how well the Saints have done in previous meetings. Crucially I think the Saints passing offense is far better than it was in most of those games, and I think Winston and his crew of weapons do just enough in this one.

Score-28-26 Saints Win                                                                                                                        

I will be previewing and recapping of all the New Orleans Saints games this season on New Orleans Saints – Full10Yards

Please let me know your feedback on this article and the others throughout the season, I’m always looking to improve and add things that people want to read about!

I want to try and create as much of a UK Saints community as possible, so follow me on Twitter @SaintsReportUK, for much more Saints content and discussion.