5 Positives/5 Negatives From Saints’ Win Over Dolphins
Below are five positives, and also five negatives, to take from the New Orleans Saints’ 20-0 win over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.
The victory improved the Saints to 2-2 on the season.
1)---Defense: The Saints tossed their first shutout since 2012, holding the Dolphins to only 186 yards in the process. No, the Dolphins aren't a good offensive team right now, but they are an NFL team, so give the Saints' defense credit. Besides, last week, people were talking about how bad the Panthers were on offense, and yet they scored 33 points in a win over the Patriots on Sunday, to improve to 3-1. About time to just credit the Saints for improving immensely on defense over the last two weeks.
2)---Ken Crawley: He played well, for the second-consecutive week. Crawley’s interception in the end zone, on the Dolphins' opening drive, may have totally changed the complexion of the game. He finished with 4 tackles, and his coverage was outstanding throughout.
3)---Alvin Kamara: The rookie was just tremendous on Sunday. On the ground, he only carried the football 5 times for 25 yards, but he did most of his work as a receiver, catching 10 passes for 71 yards, including the touchdown that put the game completely away in the fourth quarter. It's looking like Sean Payton was right about this guy; he could be special.
4)---Third Down Efficiency: The Saints were 6-of-13, while the Dolphins finished a brutal 1-of-8, while also going 0-for-1 in fourth down conversions. This makes it easy to understand why the Saints won.
5)---Lack of Turnovers: The Saints have now played 4 games, and have yet to turnover the football. On Sunday, they once again did not commit a turnover, while forcing one, on the interception by Crawley. It's very simple; if you don't turnover the ball, and especially if you win the turnover battle, you have a really good chance at winning.
1)---P.J. Williams---He didn't play, due to a disciplinary issue. That doesn't mean he can't play well and help the defense from this point forward, but being held out for disciplinary reasons in always a negative.
2)---Zach Strief---After missing the previous two games, due to a knee injury, Strief was back on Sunday, but suffered another apparent knee injury, which forced him to be carted off. With Strief out, the Saints moved left guard Andrus Peat out to left tackle and moved rookie Ryan Ramczyk over to the right side, inserting Senio Kelemete at left guard. Just when it began to look like the Saints were finally getting healthy at tackle, after missing their starters over the last two weeks, Strief gets reinjured. Let's hope it's not serious.
3)---Other Injuries---Tight end Josh Hill suffered a concussion, and linebacker Alex Anzalone left the game early with a shoulder injury. That's concerning, as Anzalone came off the field holding his right arm, the same shoulder that cost him to miss a lot of time over the past two college seasons at Florida. He tore the labrum in that shoulder in 2013, forcing him to the sidelines after two games in 2015.
4)---Adrian Peterson---Peterson carried the ball only 4 times for 4 yards, but more than that, it really is looking like he just isn't a good fit for this offense. He isn't the receiver Kamara is, and he isn't the blocker Mark Ingram is, so when he's on the field, it really is a tipoff to the opposing defense that he is getting the ball. They can't believe that when Kamara or Ingram are in there. Peterson may have something left, but we'll likely not see it with the Saints.
5)---Bye week: Oh man!...just when this was getting fun! The Saints win two-straight, get some momentum, and now have to wait two weeks to play! You could make the argument that the bye week is going to help heal the injured, such as Delvin Breaux, Terron Armstead, and Zach Strief, but you never want to have a bye week after winning two-in-a-row. Besides, a bye week after week 4 is just too early. You'd mch rather it later in the year.