The new look, New Orleans Saints dominated in the opening weekend of the NFL 2021 season. The Green Bay Packers put up little fight on either side of the ball. Aaron Rodgers looked out of sync with the offense as the Saints defense feasted on a weak Packers offensive line. Jameis Winston managed the game and took what he had to, throwing for five touchdowns on the game. New Orleans controlled the entire game, handing Rodgers the worst loss of his career. This was a different start for the Saints. This team usually gets a slow start under Sean Payton but that was not the case this year. This New Orleans Saints team had the most impressive debut in the past five years under Sean Payton.
New Orleans Saints Impressive in Season Debut
The New Orleans Saints were 2-2 in their past four season openers until this week. Each of these previous four games was hotly contested. The Saints needed last-second heroics or uncommon turnovers to win the two they did. Defensively, the Saints were allowing an average of 32 points per game in openers the previous four seasons. Meanwhile, the offense scored over 30 points per game in week one. The Saints were expected to struggle early in the season. After this week’s dismantling of the Packers, the Saints already look to be in mid-season form.
Saints Offense Consistent under New Quarterback
Jameis Winston has silenced his critics for now. Winston and the Saints debuted and kept the consistency that is expected of the Sean Payton offense. As previously stated, the Saints were already averaging over 30 points per game in season openers the previous four seasons. Winston and the rest of the offense kept this trend up. The Saints scored 38 points behind Winston. This being Winston’s first start for the Saints just adds to the impressiveness of the Saints opening day win on offense.
The most impressive stat for the Saints offense is the rushing yards. Jameis Winston tallied 37 yards on six rushes. This is in addition to the other rushers like Alvin Kamara and Tony Jones Jr. In total, the Saints had 171 yards on the ground. This was actually more yards than the Saints had passing the football. Winston only had 14 completions for five of those were for touchdowns. Juwan Johnson emerged out of nowhere to catch two of these touchdowns. Sean Payton and the Saints got production out of several lesser-known players. Chris Hogan and Deonte Harris scored two of the other touchdowns from Winston. This offensive performance is only half of what made this the most impressive Saints debut in the past five years.
Saints Defense Surprises with Dominance
The New Orleans Saints impressive defensive debut is what makes this week one the best in recent memory. The Saints have been notoriously slow starters, especially on defense. That was not the case this past Sunday. Before this week, the Saints were giving up 32 points per game on defense. The Green Bay Packers offense, and reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers, were thought to have the advantage going into week one. Surprisingly, the Saints defense was ready for the challenge. In total, the Packers could only muster 229 yards of offense in the game.
The Saints front seven was a huge part of this win for the Saints defense. Marcus Davenport, Cameron Jordan, Tanoh Kpassagnon, and others contributed to putting seven total hits on Aaron Rodgers. This effort helped the Saints secondary as well. New Orleans intercepted Aaron Rodgers twice. One by rookie Paulson Adebo and the other by Marcus Williams. Superstar players on the Packers were held down for the entire game. Davante Adams managed five catches for 56 yards, which is a win for a player that put up over 1,300 yards last season. More impressively, was how the Saints held down the Packers rushing attack. Aaron Jones had a long rush of three yards and only managed nine yards for the entire game on the ground. The numbers show how dominant this Saints defense was in the opening week.
New Orleans Saints Impressive Victory
This was a dominant effort by the New Orleans Saints. The game was not close. Aaron Rodgers and Matt LeFleur were behind and looked lost against everything the Saints threw at the Packers. If the Saints can maintain this kind of effort on both sides of the ball, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers could have some competition in the NFC South. The entire Saints team deserves praise for winning a game that no one thought they could. New Orleans will look to keep up the momentum in week two against division rival Carolina Panthers.
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