What We Saw: Week 8

The QB List staff catches you up on everything you missed during Week 8 of the 2020 NFL season.

Saints @ Bears

 

It took overtime to settle this, but it was the New Orleans Saints who came out on top over the Chicago Bears 26-23. Without Michael Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, the question became who would emerge as Brees’ top passing option. For the Bears, in what was expected to be a defensive battle would they be able to keep up with the Saints offense. They were able to as both teams traded jabs back and forth but could not cash in on many touchdowns often taking the field goal instead, though we did see drew Brees take over the record for most touchdowns all-time (though Tom Brady will have something to say about that Monday night).  

 

New Orleans Saints  

 

Quarterback

 

Drew Brees: 31/41, 280 yards, 2 TDs, 1 sack | 3 carries, 4 yards

 

With the absence of his two top receivers, Michael Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, Drew Brees attacked this Chicago defense similarly to how he’s been attacking other defenses, sticking with the shorter passes while taking the occasional shot downfield. With those few shots more downfield came his two touchdown passes, a 16-yard pass to Jared Cook moving downfield, and wide open in the endzone and a similar slant route over the middle to Taysom Hill. He leaned heavily on these shorter passes to Alvin Kamara, which any quarterback would be happy to do.

 

 

Running Backs

 

Alvin Kamara: 12 carries, 67 yards | 13 targets, 9 receptions, 96 yards

Latavius Murray: 8 carries, 17 yards | 3 targets, 3 receptions, 14 yards 

 

While Latavius Murray took a good portion of the handoffs, Alvin Kamara had himself another huge game in the air taking his shorter routes and moving for many yards after the catch showing off his elite speed. Kamara was a major part of of the New Orleans offense as Brees’ favorite weapon in the passing game, whom he looked to throughout in almost every situation due to his speed and pass-catching ability

 

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

 

Jared Cook: 7 targets, 5 receptions, 51 yards, 1 TD

Tre’Quan Smith: 7 targets, 5 receptions, 43 yards

Taysom Hill: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 20 yards, 1 TD | 5 carries, 35 yards

Deonte Harris: 3 targets, 3 receptions, 19 yards

 

With Alvin Kamara taking a large portion of the targets this game, Brees really only leaned on two players through the passing game. The first of these players is Jared Cook who immediately before his touchdown reception had pretty much the same exact play drawn to him from the other side of the field and was just underthrown. This shows a genuine connection between the two with Brees looking to him more in the second half after this touchdown.

 

 

The other receiver who Brees was looking to on multiple third-down conversion attempts was Tre’Quan Smith, the apparent number one receiver with the injuries currently in New Orleans. However, after Smith fumbled the ball in the 4th quarter, he did not see a target the remainder of the game. Of course, there was also some Taysom Hill involvement, including five carries and a touchdown catch earlier converting for first down in the red zone then taking it the remaining five or so yards into the endzone after the reception over the middle.

 

Chicago Bears

 

Quarterback

 

Nick Foles 28/41, 272 yards, 2 TDs 1 INT, 5 sacks

 

The Bears offensive line made things a little difficult for Nick Foles with him being sacked five times in this game, but Foles remained poised especially on that drive late in the 4th quarter, driving the Bears downfield and setting up the game-tying field goal. He delivered two great passes for his touchdowns; A deep ball in the back of the endzone leading Allen Robinson to make a great diving catch, as well another deep ball to Darnell Mooney to set up a touchdown pass to him later that same drive.

 

Running Backs

 

David Montgomery: 21 carries, 89 yards | 5 targets, 2 receptions, 16 yards

Cordarrelle Patterson: 1 carry, 4 yards | 2 targets, 2 receptions, 1 yard

 

The line may look nice for David Montgomery and something you can be excited about. However, this game was pretty much more of the same for him, besides his longest run of 38 yards. Besides that run, Montgomery could not create many opportunities on the ground with the offensive line not helping as well in creating openings for him to breakthrough. Once again, he was the only man in the backfield with Cordarrelle Patterson coming in for one carry and Ryan Nall getting one target out of the backfield in the passing game.

 

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

 

Allen Robinson: 7 targets, 6 receptions, 87 yards, 1TD

Anthony Miller: 11 targets, 8 receptions, 73 yards

Darnell Mooney: 6 targets, 5 receptions, 69 yards, 1 TD

Jimmy Graham: 7 targets, 2 reception, 13 yards

Cole Kmet: 1 target, 1 reception, 2 yards

 

After clearing concussion protocol late in the week, Allen Robinson did not miss a beat looking like his usual self coming up in crucial situations including this beautiful catch on the deep ball for his touchdown reception.

 

 

This game also served as a reminder of why Anthony Miller received so much excitement coming into the season, leading the team in targets with Nick Foles constantly looking his way to convert on third down. Though those passes tended to be shorter routes than Mooney and Robinson, the work he got reminds us of his emergence potential in this offense. Speaking of emergence and breakouts, Darnell Mooney had himself one of those this weekend with Foles looking his way on several deep shots including this deep 50-yard bomb early in the game.

 

 

He would later in the game remain a trusted option for Foles late as the Bears looked to tie the game with this touchdown reception inside the goalline.

 

 

As for the tight end position, it was clear that the connection between Foles and Jimmy Graham was a bit off on Sunday as Graham was only able to pull in two of the seven targets that went his way. The vast majority of those targets came late in the game on the final few drives for the Bears as they attempted to come back and tie up the Saints late.

 

— Callen Elslager (@callen_elslager on Twitter and Reddit)

One response to “What We Saw: Week 8”

  1. Really good website, thank you very much for showing us

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

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