Saints @ Seahawks
Final Score: Saints 13, Seahawks 10
Writer: Corey Saucier (@Deputy_Commish on Twitter, /u/Lights_Kamara_Action on Reddit)
In a game where both offenses struggled and both defenses shined, RB Alvin Kamara and the Saints did just enough to hold off Seattle in the end and claim a tough road victory on Monday night. Kamara became the fastest player in NFL history to reach 3,000 rushing yards and 3,000 receiving yards (66 games) on Monday night and gave us, by far, his best receiving performance of the season. Much of Kamara’s damage through the air came on the Saints’ 2-minute drill at the end of the first half – totaling 4 catches for 64 yards and his lone TD of the night in a single 1:46 scoring drive. It was as if Seattle completely forgot that he even existed, or that he played football, or that he was currently on the field against them. Kamara had a tougher time moving the ball on the ground (2.55 YPC), but more than made up for it on the night with his electric receiving output. With such a low-scoring affair, did you get enough from your guys to complete your Monday night miracle? Let’s dive into what we saw:
New Orleans Saints
Jameis Winston: 19/35, 222 yards, TD | 8 carries, 40 yards, Fumble
The Jameis Winston experiment continues on for New Orleans, and if there’s one thing we’ve learned to this point in the year, it’s that Winston doesn’t appear to be worth much fantasy consideration. There have been times this season where Jameis has let it fly for some big plays, but there have also been times where he’s seemed timid – almost like he’s overthinking and too afraid to make mistakes. His accuracy on short passes has been hit or miss all year and his general inconsistency has kept fantasy managers away from rostering him for the most part. Outside of his targets to Kamara on Monday night, Winston finished just 9/24 for 94 yards. The weather was definitely a factor in this game – heavier rain cleared in the first quarter and stayed away until the second half, but swirling winds gusted throughout the night. Winston made some decent deep throws, but he also had a few head-scratchers, as well. Winston may be serviceable as a bye-week filler against some better fantasy QB matchups over the next few weeks (TB, ATL, @TEN), but I would want to see more out of him before I would trust him.
Alvin Kamara: 20 carries, 51 yards | 11 targets, 10 receptions, 128 yards, TD
Ty Montgomery: 1 carry, 4 yards | 1 target
As I mentioned in the opener, it was Alvin Kamara‘s world on Monday night, everyone else was just living in it. Kamara had his best performance of the 2021 season with 179 total yards and his 4th receiving TD of the year. Kamara has now scored in 5 of 6 games for the Saints, and his 30 touches on Monday were his most in a game since Week 3 of the 2018 season against Atlanta, and the second-most of his career. Without WR Michael Thomas having a clear timetable for his return, the offense will continue to run through Kamara and the Saints’ defense. Here’s Kamara’s TD grab on a play where Winston technically fumbled the ball, then casually flipped it over to AK:
Leave it to AK to put on a show 😎🤟
Tune in with us LIVE NOW on ESPN pic.twitter.com/B4fGjvN41Z
— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) October 26, 2021
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Marquez Callaway: 7 targets, 3 receptions, 32 yards
Tre’Quan Smith: 3 targets, 1 reception, 11 yards
Adam Trautman: 3 targets, 3 receptions, 36 yards, Fumble (Lost)
WR Tre’Quan Smith made his season debut for the Saints on Monday night, and it wasn’t a very memorable one. Smith was nearly blanked from the box score entirely, and also committed a costly offensive pass-interference penalty late in the game that forced New Orleans to settle for a FG. Second-year promising TE Adam Trautman was second in receiving yards to Kamara on the night, but he had a costly fumble that killed momentum on a drive where the Saints’ offense was already within FG range. WRs Kenny Stills and Kevin White were both targeted and held without a catch on the night. The Monday Night Football crew mentioned during the telecast that Saints’ head coach Sean Payton was mum on a potential timeline for WR Michael Thomas‘ return and refused to talk about his situation – other than to say he isn’t yet ready to return. Even when or if Thomas returns this season, it will be tough to predict how he will fit into this lower-powered Saints’ offense, but until then it will be tough to trust any of their pass-catchers for fantasy purposes.
Geno Smith: 12/22, 167 yards, TD | 3 carries, 12 yards
Seahawks’ QB Geno Smith had two tall tasks on Monday night – not just continuing to start in place of the injured Russell Wilson in front of a forlorn home crowd, but also dealing with a mean-spirited Saints’ defense in his face all night. Smith got off to a hot start – connecting with WR D.K. Metcalf on this 84-yard TD bomb:
— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) October 26, 2021
Clearly, Metcalf did most of the work on this one, but Smith did throw a nice ball to facilitate it. They both got some help from Saints’ CB Marshon Lattimore falling down on the play. Unfortunately for Smith and the Seahawks’ offense, that play accounted for more than half of Smith’s total passing yards on the night. Smith was sacked 5 times and New Orleans basically dared him to beat them with his arm – and he couldn’t get it done.
Alex Collins: 16 carries, 35 yards | 1 target, 1 reception, 9 yards
Rashaad Penny: 6 carries, 9 yards
Seattle’s struggles through the air were matched by equal struggles on the ground against New Orleans’ stout defense on Monday night. RB Alex Collins was active and got the start for the Seahawks, but was mostly ineffective. Seattle continued to run the ball into the Saints’ stacked front throughout the night, and running room was hard to be found for the Seahawks’ backfield. RB Rashaad Penny returned from IR and was clearly second in the pecking order, but he was only able to flip his six touches into nine yards.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
D.K. Metcalf: 5 targets, 2 receptions, 96 yards, TD
Tyler Lockett: 3 targets, 2 receptions, 12 yards
Gerald Everett: 3 targets, 3 receptions, 11 yards | 1 carry, 12 yards
Freddie Swain: 6 targets, 4 receptions, 39 yards
D.K. Metcalf‘s huge 1st quarter TD grab salvaged his night from a fantasy perspective, but the struggles of WR Tyler Lockett without Russ Wilson throwing to him are hard to overstate. Lockett had 10 targets in the Seahawks’ Week 5 matchup with the Rams when Wilson went down, and he’s had 10 targets in the two games since. As for Metcalf, after his huge TD reception in the first quarter, he wasn’t targeted again until the 4th – as I mentioned earlier, Seattle was determined to keep running the ball right at the teeth of the New Orleans defense. Metcalf was chippy all night with Saints’ CB Marshon Lattimore, baiting Lattimore into multiple penalties. If Geno Smith is only throwing a combined eight times to Metcalf and Lockett under any circumstance, it’s a situation that needs to be addressed. It was encouraging news this week when it was announced that Wilson is expected to return once he’s first eligible in Week 10, but until then, hold on – this could be a bumpy ride with Seattle’s pass-catching group.
Photo by Kiyoshi Mio/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)