New Orleans Saints: Three Studs in Win Against the Bears

The New Orleans Saints got what they needed to do done.  They played well on both sides of the ball, and really had a fantastic game all-around.  In a game that ended 21-9, there were a couple players that really stood out for the Saints in helping them win this game.  In this article, I will be going over the 3 most impactful, and why they were important today.  

Deonte Harris – Saints WR

Coming off of IR for this game, we saw the return of wide receiver/return specialist Deonte Harris.  Boy did he have a game.  The part that was surprising was that his explosiveness was not as much shown in the return game.  It was shown in the receiving game.  He was consistently one of the primary options for Drew Brees all game, which was really interesting to watch.  His raw speed and shiftiness was on full display today.  One of his bigger plays being the one seen below:

With that said, here was his stats on the game:

  • 7 receptions on 7 targets (100% catch rate)
  • 83 receiving yards (11.9 per reception)
  • Longest reception: 24 yards

Overall, in a game that had 10 different Saints players catch a pass, Deonte was the most productive.  If he can continue this production into the divisional round next week against Tampa Bay, that could be a game changing discovery.  He also had 3 punt returns for 22 yards, none of which being exceptional but none being lost yards or muffs so that’s always a positive. 

Oh ya, something else to mention, the Saints had 0 kick returns this game, none.  They received the opening kickoff, and another in the 2nd quarter, neither of which were returned.  This is pretty interesting to consider, as Harris usually returns one each game from the middle of the endzone.  Maybe this is a sign that he is learning to take kickoffs as touchbacks more often?  Or maybe he just still was not full strength after the injury and did not want to risk it.  Either way, his receiving game more than overshadowed that.

Chauncey Gardner-Johnson – New Orleans CB/S

There are quite a few reasons I have Chauncey Gardner-Johnson on here.  Is one of them getting another Bears receiver to punch/shove him by getting in their head?  I will not confirm nor deny.  (Yes I will, it’s definitely a reason).  Getting into the headspace of Anthony Miller like he did with Javon Wims last time this matchup happened was a huge positive.  Then getting Miller ejected for shoving him is even more of a positive.  Getting Miller ejected for shoving him, after Matt Nagy specifically dedicated time during the weeks practice to cover film of CGJ and tell Bears receivers not to fall into his trap?  Priceless.

Outside of drawing a shove out of Miller, CGJ really had a productive game on the field as well.  He had 8 total tackles throughout the game, with 6 being solo tackles.  This was the most on the team, which is impressive when you play with guys like Marshon Lattimore and Demario Davis who always rack up tackles.  He had a pretty good game in coverage too, really just trailing receivers at a high level and preventing big plays.  Overall, a great game for CGJ after coming back from injury.

Drew Brees – Saints QB

The leader of the Saints offense takes home the third spot in this article.  Keep in mind there is no order to how these players go, it’s more who I remember first in that order.  Drew had a pretty good game all things considered.  Going against one of the better defenses in the NFC, and still shaking off rust from his injury.  He definitely seemed more apt to get up in the pocket and really heave the ball tonight which was a huge step forward for him (no pun intended).  He heaved a 38 yard completion to Michael Thomas which you can see here:

His stats were not exceptional, but they didn’t need to be really.  He went 28/39 passing (71.8%), for 265 passing yards, 2 touchdowns, and a passer rating of 107.3.  The whole no interceptions thing was huge too, as we had seen 3 in his last few games of the season.  He was really able to get this offense going in the second half, and did just enough to get the win.  Also, we are obliged to wish him a happy 42nd birthday, which is coming up this Thursday!  We will also see the battle of the veteran QBs next weekend, with 43 year old Tom Brady and a newly 42 year old Drew Brees.

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Which Saints players do you believe were the studs of the game? Leave a comment down below and let me know!

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