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Author: Ian Riise

New Orleans Saints Third Down Defense Excels in Win Over Cleveland Browns

Following an ugly showing by the New Orleans Saints defense in week one, the unit kept the game within reach as the offense stumbled early against the Cleveland Browns. The Saints squandered several opportunities as they came away with only a field goal in the first half despite over 17 minutes of possession. Meanwhile, the defense held Cleveland to six points thanks to several key third down stops. Both offenses took off in the second half, and without the strong first-half defensive performance, the Saints could have lost this game by a significant margin. Notable Statistics Cleveland converted on just...

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New Orleans Saints Run Game Must Materialize Against Cleveland Browns

It didn’t take long for running back Mark Ingram‘s absence to be felt in the New Orleans Saints 48-40 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In the first half, Alvin Kamara gained 29 yards while averaging a respectable 4.8 yards per carry, but he received little help from the other Saints running backs. Mike Gillislee and Jonathan Williams combined for only seven yards on four carries in the first half. This forced New Orleans to lean heavily on quarterback Drew Brees early on and by halftime, he had already attempted 21 passes. To make matters worse, Gillislee fumbled in the second...

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New Orleans Saints Defensive Backs Disappoint in 2018 Debut

Last season, the New Orleans Saints found some stability in their defensive backfield with breakout seasons from cornerbacks Marshon Lattimore and Ken Crawley, along with free safety Marcus Williams. These new starters helped the Saints defense improve to 15th overall in passing yardage allowed after finishing dead last in 2016. New Orleans acquired veterans Patrick Robinson and Kurt Coleman during the off-season in an attempt to further improve the defensive backfield. With Robinson taking over as nickel back and Coleman sharing the strong safety role with Vonn Bell, the unit seemed poised to grow into one of the league’s best secondaries. It’s safe...

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Why the New Orleans Saints Season-Opener Is a Must-Win

The New Orleans Saints have not won their season-opener since a 23-17 victory over the Atlanta Falcons to start the 2013 season. In fact, they’ve only won two Week One matchups since their 2009 championship season, with a 2010 victory over the Minnesota Vikings being the only other exception. These early losses have often carried a domino effect, with New Orleans starting 1-3 or worse in 2012, 2014, 2015, and 2016. The Saints get a favorable home matchup Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who finished last-place in the NFC South last season. However, with such high expectations surrounding New...

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New Orleans Saints Initial 2018 Roster Grades

The New Orleans Saints initial 53-man roster is set, although there should be some additional transactions over the next week. Several position battles remained close throughout the end of preseason and surely gave the Saints brain trust some brutal decisions. Here are grades for each position on the Saints roster as it sounds now. Quarterback – A+ Drew Brees, Teddy Bridgewater, Taysom Hill (3) This may be the best quarterback situation in the NFL. Brees is under contract for the next two seasons and will remain the starter as long as he’s in New Orleans, but it must feel good for Saints fans...

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New Orleans Saints Final 2018 Roster Projection

Following a strong preseason, the New Orleans Saints have until 4:00 PM EST on Saturday to trim their roster down to 53 players. Several position battles for reserve roles still feel unresolved and should give the Saints brain trust some tough decisions. This is a good problem to have though, as New Orleans should boast their deepest and most complete roster in years. Here’s a final projection for the Saints initial 53-man roster. Quarterback Drew Brees, Teddy Bridgewater, Taysom Hill (3) New Orleans stunned the league on Thursday, trading a 2019 third round pick to the New York Jets for Bridgewater....

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New Orleans Saints Position Battle Update: Preseason Week Three

Following three games of preseason action, several New Orleans Saints position battles appear to be coming to a close. However, competitions for the Saints backup quarterback job and wide receiver depth remain tight, and could still be tough to call after the final exhibition game. Here’s a look at how some of the Saints position battles changed following their 35-7 win over the Los Angeles Chargers. Backup Quarterback Following a decent week one performance, Taysom Hill took a giant step backward with a sloppy four-turnover showing last week against the Arizona Cardinals. Then Hill submitted a dominant performance on Saturday that...

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