What We Saw: Jaguars at Saints

The unlikeliest of comebacks in the fourth quarter from a resurgent Saints offense made this contest a thrilling finish

Jaguars @ Saints

Final Score: Jaguars 31, Saints 24

Senior Writer: Benjamin Haller (@benjaminhaller1 on Twitter)


After a number of missed opportunities in the first half to build a sizeable lead, the Jacksonville Jaguars got a boost from their defense in the second half to establish a 15 point lead midway through the third quarter against a stuttering New Orleans Saints. A dreadful Derek Carr throw in the third quarter was tipped and picked by the determined Foyesade Oluokun and returned 24 yards for a score to give the Jaguars what looked like a match-winning touchdown. To that point it was the sum of a miserable night of fractured parts from Carr and the Saints offense, who looked far from a cohesive unit for long periods.


Trevor Lawrence was under some doubt to play with a lingering knee issue and played with a custom brace fitted. He showed it didn’t bother him in the first half with a number of nice rushes to move the sticks but his overall played missed a sharpness that was evident in a number of ineffective second half drives. The Jaguars punted three times and then turned the ball over on downs to start the second half which proved costly as the Saints offense awoke in the fourth quarter. However, with just three minutes left in the game Lawrence connected on a slant with Christian Kirk who broke multiple tackles to take the ball all the way for a 44-yard touchdown. The Saints had a shot to win it at the end but tight end Foster Moreau dropped an easy touchdown pass and the chance went begging.


Three Up

  • Travis Etienne Jr. – the dynamic running back now had three straight games with multiple touchdown scores, a fantasy dream come to reality – he is firmly in the top four of players with the most scrimmage yards this season
  • Alvin Kamara – volume is king for Kamara since his return from an early season suspension – he mustered a total of X touches and X scrimmage yards in this one
  • Michael Thomas – a brilliant catch in the end zone after a couple of weeks of limited opportunity – deserved the catch after doing a lot of good things in route running for his team

Three Down

  • Derek Carr – an unacceptable performance for the most part yet again from the veteran quarterback who is enduring the toughest spell of his career in New Orleans with his new team
  • Calvin Ridley – almost non-existent for long periods and those plays they did try to feature him on just didn’t work – finished the night with just one catch
  • Trevor Lawrence – may have been significantly compromised with his knee injury but the passing game was far from where it needs to be despite time to throw in the pocket


Jacksonville Jaguars




Trevor Lawrence: 20/29, 204 Yards, TD | 8 Carries, 59 Yards


After a decisive opening drive, the rhythm and flow of Lawrence and the Jaguars offense hiccuped its way through the rest of the game doing just about enough to notch their fourth straight win. Lawrence masterminded an opening 10-play, 75 yard touchdown drive before a mixture of mistakes and poor execution let the Saints off the hook in the first half. Until the final drive of the game, the second period was even worse. Four punts and a failed fourth down conversion looked to be haunting Lawrence to a defeat from the claws of victory before a bit of magic from Kirk gave him a “get-out-of-the-Superdome-free” card.

In the final drive of the game, Lawrence seemed to go back to what worked for him on the opening drive and so the touchdown throw to Kirk came a little out of the blue and secured a win that should have been wrapped up well earlier. Ironically, despite his niggling knee, Lawrence made things happen with his legs on two big plays. A good sign for the young signal caller.


Running Back


Travis Etienne Jr.: 14 Carries, 53 Yards, 2 TD | 5 Targets, 3 Receptions, 24 Yards


A first half to remember was followed by a second half to forget for Etienne, who twice hit pay dirt in the first half to give the Jaguars a commanding lead. Etienne was fed the ball early and rewarded his team with productive, positive plays on two scoring drives. He looked strong and determined inside the hashes, where his first touchdown came from.


..and he looked explosive on outside zone runs, which is where his second TD came from. He was generally bottled up in the second half as Denis Allen drew up some more effective, aggressive schemes for his defensive front. This included stuffing Etienne on a fourth-and-inches attempt that the Saints then converted into the game-tying touchdown.


Still, it was Etienne’s third straight game with multiple touchdowns and he remains a strong fantasy option as an RB1.


Tank Bigsby: 2 Carries, 2 Yards


Wide Receiver/Tight End


Christian Kirk: 6 Targets, 6 Receptions, 90 Yards, TD, 1 Fumble (Lost)


A brilliant touchdown pass to win the game overshadowed what was generally a quiet night for Kirk, who converted an early third down to set the Jaguars up for a score on the first drive before doing all the work himself on the final drive. Kirk smoked veteran Tyrann Mathieu over the middle and dodged some less than impressive tackling to take the ball all the way. One of the reasons we didn’t see him featured for a while was because he lost a fumble in the first half after a gain of 20 yards when trying to get back up and fight for more yards. It would have taken the Jags into field goal territory already up 7-0.


Evan Engram: 7 Targets, 5 Receptions, 45 Yards


It was a strange night for Evan Engram, who saw two of his catches go for 53% of his total yardage on the first drive of the game. Engram took a swing pass down the sideline for a 21 yards but was then largely ignore until late in the fourth quarter. His target share is healthy as he’s seen at least seven looks on all but one of seven games this season. He is yet to score a touchdown, however, and that is vital for a fantasy tight end to be valuable.


Jamal Agnew: 1 Carry, 0 Yards | 6 Targets, 4 Receptions, 36 Yards


There’s a famous quote from Mean Girls, “Gretchen, stop trying to make “Fetch” happen!” Fetch is Jamal Agnew, who was targeted six times in the first half as the Jaguars seemed to be set on making him a key player in this offense to the detriment of the superior receiving talents of Calvin Ridley. Agnew was also a contributor in a nifty fleaflicker play in second quarter that resulted in his longest gain. He also got tripped up just short of the goal line on the opening drive, denied a score only by a last gasp tackle from the Saints. Agnew was targeted on a nearly intercepted deep ball on third down on last drive of the first half which Marshon Lattimore couldn’t quite prevent from hitting the ground.


Calvin Ridley: 1 Carry, 0 Yards | 4 Targets, 1 Reception, 5 Yards


Criminally, Ridley finished this game with just one catch for five yards, a dump off over the middle early in the third quarter. He was largely ignore in the game plan in the first half and saw the majority of his looks late in the fourth quarter. It was baffling seeing Agnew being featured over him. Ridley superbly hauled in a deep sideline grab in the fourth quarter but the officials ruled that he had come down out of bounds, which the replays confirmed. He saw two further targets with the game on the line but both fell incomplete on the Jaguars penultimate drive of game


Tim Jones: 2 Targets, 2 Receptions, 17 Yards


Fake punt conversion alert! Nice job Logan Cooke and Tim Jones, it turned into three value points for the Jaguars in the second quarter.


New Orleans Saints




Derek Carr: 33/55, 301 Yards, TD, INT, Sack | 3 Carries, 14 Yards


A miserable night for Carr in many aspects as the crowd got on his back early with the Saints offense looking ineffective from the start. Carr was not on the same page with his offensive unit for the majority of the night and showed his frustrations on a number of broken plays. He lost a fumble on the final play of the first half and it then threatened to get very ugly in second half when he threw to nobody on second-and-20 down by eight. Then he forced a ball into tight coverage to Rashid Shaheed and it resulted in a pick six.


From out of nowhere, the Saints offense came alive for the fourth quarter with Carr connecting with Thomas for a deep touchdown before throwing the two-point conversion pass to Kamara to tie it up. Taysom Hill then ran the ball in near the goal line on fourth down to tie it up.


He then had the chance to go down the field and win the game but after being flushed out of the pocket on third down, Carr threw well short of his receiver and the ball went back to the Jaguars. Carr finished the night a worrying 3-of-18 of third downs in this game. Yikes! He threw a fade on the final offensive play of the day to Olave in the end zone but it was nearly picked off.

This is a broken, boring offense filled with check downs and swing passes. It’s not a winning offense and Carr’s limitations seem to be held in check by this offensive coordinator, which is likely smart but for us no fun.


Running Back


Alvin Kamara: 17 Carries, 62 Yards | 14 Targets, 12 Receptions, 91 Yards


Welcome to the Alvin Kamara offense! It might not be pretty in real football but for fantasy purposes it is a phenomenal tactic. 29 touches is a lot of touches, with every target out of backfield being a check down followed by Kamara running sideways to try beat the edge. It only worked a couple of times but when it did it resulted in a couple of big gains. A key run on fourth-and-one on first drive of second half breathed confidence into the offense before Kamara then converted another fourth down near end of third quarter which was crucial in the Saints comeback.


Kamara was stuffed three times straight inside the Jaguars 5-yard line before Hill was given the opportunity to run it in on designed run on fourth down. Yes, this is frustrating for fantasy managers as Kamara only has one touchdown on the seaoson. Not even a bonus two-point conversion could scratch that annoying itch. He did burst off a nice 15-yard run on final offensive drive to set up the team deep in Jags territory with a chance to tie game.


Jamaal Williams: 5 Carries, 14 Yards


Wide Receiver/Tight End


Chris Olave: 15 Targets, 7 Receptions, 57 Yards


It was an intensely frustrating watch for Saints fans and fantasy managers who believe in Chris Olave‘s ability as a lead receiver. Olave was generally used on short routes to the sidelines and was peppered with targets that yielded minimal yardage opportunities. He averaged less than four yards per target and this offense does not suit his outside style. He was beaten on numerous contested catch situations, but throws were forced into him in tight coverage down the middle of the field which is not his strength. The volume is encouraging but the chemistry isn’t firing right now.


Taysom Hill: 5 Carries, 18 Yards, TD | 5 Targets, 4 Receptions, 50 Yards


His fantasy output was the best of the season and Hill was professional with his usage by producing 68 scrimmage yards and a touchdown on his nine touches. After the Saints had handed the ball off to Kamara three straight times near the goal line, they finally turned to the veteran utility man who punched it in from a yard out early in the fourth quarter to tie the game. Hill has seen an increase in the passing game recently as the Saints’ less-than-attractive dink-and-run offense has taken hold. Hill is useful as a fantasy tight end and flex option through the bye weeks.


Michael Thomas: 7 Targets, 3 Receptions, 42 Yards, TD


Finally, Thomas found the end zone after a hapless couple of deep shots in first half were under thrown and Thomas had to do more defensive work than receiving work to ensure they were not turned over. He made a spectacular grab midway through the final quarter to make this game interesting.


Thomas will be touchdown dependant to be fantasy relevant with Carr’s quarterback play restricting his ceiling. The skillset is still there though.


Rashid Shaheed: 1 Carry, 4 Yards | 8 Targets, 4 Receptions, 28 Yards


After a productive week against the Texans, the Saints tried to feature Shaheed more in this game without much success. He didn’t have the chance to stretch the field like he did last week and had to deal with more contested situations, which is not his forte. One of these was the Carr interception, which was an ill advised throw straight down the middle with Shaheed in heavy coverage. Shaheed made a fantastic effort on a red zone target and made a one-handed grab but failed to come down in bounds.


Foster Moreau: 4 Targets, 3 Receptions, 33 Yards


It’s what hometown tight end Moreau didn’t do that will be remembered from this game unfortunately. With the game on the line on third down in the final seconds, Moreau broke free in the end zone and Carr dropped it right in front of him. He dropped it and the Saints went on to be denied on fourth down. Moreau was inconsolable on the sidelines after the game.


Photo by Katie Chan/Action Plus/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter/X)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.