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Week 10 Game Recap: New Orleans Saints 47, Buffalo Bills 10
What you need to know
The Saints blew out the Buffalo Bills this week, but you may be surprised as to how they scored their 47 points. The defense was dominant, and the running game exploded for 298 total yards and 6 touchdowns. We talked a few weeks ago about how rare it is for Drew Brees
to go without a touchdown pass and this is the second game this season he has failed to reach the end zone in the air. Brees did add a rushing touchdown to his credit and the two feature backs eclipsed 100 yards on the ground. The Saints had such a comfortable lead that they were able to play backup Chase Daniel
and rookie Trey Edmunds
extensively in the second half. This is the Saints 7th win in a row and is a far cry from the back to back losses they took to the Vikings and Patriots in weeks 1 and 2. The Saints host the Washington Redskins next week as they try and extend their win streak to 8 in a row.
The Buffalo defense was dominated by the New Orleans offense, which limited Buffalo to less than 19 minutes time of possession. When Buffalo's offense was on the field, they were penalty prone, and in bad down and distance. Tyrod Taylor
too frequently checked down underneath the sticks on third downs which left little opportunity for the Buffalo offense to sustain drives. The lone Buffalo touchdown was a touchdown pass in garbage time to TE Nick O'Leary.
New Orleans Saints
|QB Drew Brees, 72 offensive snaps, Pass: 18 - 25 - 184 - 0 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 2 - 6 - 1|
This game is an anomaly if compared to any other game in Brees' career. He threw for under 200 yards, did not throw a touchdown, completed 72% of his passes, and more than half of the yards came to one receiver. Brees has made a living spreading the ball around and finding the end zone through the air, but this week the Saints were able to do it on the ground. Brees threw 117 of his 184 yards to Michael Thomas
, and only completed multiple passes to 2 receivers. His biggest plays on the day came on a 28-yard crossing route by Michael Thomas
just before halftime. Thomas streaked across the middle of the field and hurdled one defender in an effort to get in the end zone His second big play came on 3rd and 13 to Brandon Coleman
. The pass was right down the middle of the field and Coleman was able to follow a block and break a tackle for 30 yards to help set up an eventual Mark Ingram
touchdown. Brees did not need to be his normal self today with how well the rest of the team played. Brees will face a Washington secondary that allowed over 300 yards passing and 4 touchdowns to Case Keenum
The Saints rushing offense outpaced the passing attack 48 attempts to 25 and Ingram's success played a huge factor in that. Ingram eclipsed 100 yards rushing and added three touchdowns for his best game of the season. Ingram's touchdowns all came from within the 10-yard line at distances of 1, 3, and 3 yards. Ingram helped to set up his own touchdown after taking a 4th and 1 carry 25 yards right up the middle of the Buffalo defense. Each of Ingram's touchdowns were power runs right up the middle and showed that he is the thunder to the thunder and lightning duo that is Ingram and Kamara. One interesting note is that Ingram was not targeted in the passing game at all this week. He is the clear starting running back but has been relegated to more of the rushing attack rather than passing with the emergence of Kamara. The touches were very close with Ingram taking 21 and Kamara at 17. It will be interesting to see the shift in workloads if the Saints are ever losing at any point again this season.
|RB Alvin Kamara, 29 offensive snaps, Rush: 12 - 106 - 1, Rec: 5 - 32 - 0 (5 targets)|
The Saints have built a two-headed rushing attack that is quickly surpassing everyone else in the league. Kamara has come in and established himself from day 1 and shows no signs of slowing down. Kamara's biggest asset is his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. In a game where passing yards were a premium, Kamara was the only running back to register a catch. He caught all 5 of his targets and ranked only behind Michael Thomas
in both yards and targets. Kamara's biggest plays came on the first drive of the second half. After taking the ball 19 yards off the right end and being pushed out of bounds on the 5-yard line, Kamara promptly took the next hand off the last 5 yards into the end zone with the exact same play on the next snap. Kamara had the first 100-yard rushing game of his career, the most rushing attempts of his career, and a rushing touchdown for the third consecutive week.
It is rare to see two feature backs on a team rush for 100 yards and multiple touchdowns, but even more rare to see a third string guy almost reach 50 yards of his own and add a touchdown. With the game firmly in hand, the Saints turned to Edmunds to see what they had in their other rookie running back. Everything looked pretty bleak as Edmunds first 8 carries only netted 8 yards, but the Saints were rewarded for their patience with a 41-yard burst for a touchdown off the left end. Edmunds took the Chase Daniel
handoff to the short side of the field and was not touched by a single Bills player on his way to the end zone. It will be interesting to see if this one big play gets him any additional work as the season continues.
In a game that was anything but normal for the Saints offense, Thomas was able to surpass 100 yards receiving for the first time this season. Thomas also registered double-digit targets for the fifth time in 9 games and registered his second-highest average per catch this season. He was unable to reach the end zone for the 5th consecutive game, but with the Saints on a roll, there is no one complaining. Thomas had several plays over 10 yards on easy crossing routes, but his biggest play came on a 28-yard strike just before halftime. Thomas had worked his way across the field and caught the ball along the right sideline. He hurdled his defender that dove to make a tackle, but lost his balance and slowed down just long enough for the safety to come over and make a play. The drive ended in a field goal but could have been a touchdown if Thomas had not stumbled. The touchdowns will come for Thomas as the season wears on, but there is no reason to shift off the running game that has been so successful.
Coleman is a mere blip on the stat sheet this week with his 1 catch. However, that catch was huge as it came on a 3rd and 13 play and helped to set up a Mark Ingram
touchdown. Coleman worked his way across the field from right to left and caught the ball just in front of the safeties. He followed a Michael Thomas
block and broke another tackle for 30 total yards. He was targeted 3 other times but failed to make any of the catches. Coleman and Ted Ginn
seem to trade big plays each week and it was Coleman's turn to make one against Buffalo.
|QB Tyrod Taylor, 37 offensive snaps, Pass: 9 - 18 - 56 - 0 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 3 - 27 - 0|
had his worst performance of the season against the New Orleans Saints. Taylor led a scoring drive on the first possession, which included a well-designed quarterback run. However, Taylor overthrew new WR Kelvin Benjamin
on a fade, then underthrew him on an out route. Taylor's best attributes are his mobility and limiting mistakes, but when Buffalo is behind, he does not make enough aggressive throws to generate big comeback attempts. Taylor spent the afternoon checking down, including on third downs well short of the yardage to gain. Taylor did not get much help including from his supporting cast, including on his interception where Charles Clay
deflected the ball directly into the hands of Sheldon Rankins. Taylor did make two deep throws to Deonte Thompson
, one of which Thompson dropped and the other was overthrown. Taylor was pulled in the fourth quarter for Nathan Peterman
who led a late touchdown drive in garbage time.
came on in relief for Tyrod Taylor
in the fourth quarter, leading two drives including a touchdown drive in garbage time. Peterman got the ball out of his hands quick, including two throws to Kelvin Benjamin
and the lone catch by Jordan Matthews
on the day. Peterman threw a touchdown pass in the red zone to Nick O'Leary. Peterman looked to inject life into the stagnant Buffalo offense, but also broke down mechanically under pressure.
|RB LeSean McCoy, 24 offensive snaps, Rush: 8 - 49 - 0, Rec: 3 - 11 - 0 (5 targets)|
McCoy was involved early in the game on a well-designed misdirection play that got McCoy to the edge of the New Orleans defense for a 36-yard gain. McCoy was used in the passing game to stretch the boundaries, but found little room to move outside of his long carry. McCoy was limited by horrible game script for the second consecutive week, as Buffalo fell behind early, and saw few sustained opportunities on offense. McCoy did fumble in the game, and Buffalo was fortunate that Dion Dawkins recovered the fumble.
|RB Mike Tolbert, 14 offensive snaps, Rush: 2 - -2 - 0, Rec: 2 - 17 - 0 (2 targets)|
was limited to four touches against New Orleans. He served as the clear second back in the Buffalo offense, and there was little change in play selection when Tolbert substituted for McCoy.
Benjamin was involved early in the game, with the first three targets of the game, including an overthrow by Tyrod Taylor
into the back of the end zone on a red zone target. Benjamin ran a diverse route tree, including inbreaking routes, vertical routes, and outbreaking routes, despite only being with the team for less than two weeks. Benjamin had a drop, and had another ball thrown behind him go off his hands. Two of his three catches on the day were in garbage time from Nathan Peterman
|WR Deonte Thompson, 39 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - -5 - 0, Rec: 1 - 10 - 0 (4 targets)|
had a brutal day. He dropped a deep pass in contested coverage and was called for a holding penalty that negated a big play by Charles Clay
. He was also overthrown twice, including an end zone target by Nathan Peterman
. His lone catch was in garbage time on a Peterman throw to the outside.
was limited to a single catch on a garbage time throw from Nathan Peterman
. Jordan Matthews
is a poor fit with Tyrod Taylor
at quarterback, but works in the intermediate area and across the middle of the field where Peterman is more comfortable throwing the football.
|TE Charles Clay, 29 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 13 - 0 (3 targets)|
returned from injury and played well in minimal opportunities. He officially caught two passes for 13 yards, but his day should have been much better. Two other catches were called back on penalties, one a solid catch and run across the middle and the other a screen pass. Clay had a bad drop that resulted in a Sheldon Rankins interception as the ball ricocheted off Clay's hands directly to Rankins. He has returned to a lead role in the offense after missing several weeks with an injury.
|TE Nick OLeary, 19 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 7 - 1 (2 targets)|
Nick O'Leary's lone catch was a seven-yard touchdown reception on a garbage time pass from Nathan Peterman
late in the fourth quarter. With Charles Clay
's return from injury, O'Leary was relegated to TE2 duties in the Buffalo offense.