Isn’t it nice when everything goes the New Orleans Saints way? It’s almost like having the day off. Everyone was just standing around slapping each other on the back and thinking about the good ol’ days as Drew Brees methodically picked apart the #1 ranked defense in the NFL with ease in a 34-13 beat down of the Carolina Panthers.
Brees was almost perfect (22-29, 220 yards, 3 touchdowns) on a day that saw the Saints’ rushing attack spring to life and take some of the pressure off of the veteran quarterback.
It would seem the Crescent City Running Back Stable finally figured out its “big horse” and fed Mark Ingram 14 times for 56 yards and the Alabama-product added 30 yards on two receptions. Adrian Peterson added 33 yards on the ground and Alvin Kamara showed his electric style with a 25-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
It wasn’t just the offense that was lighting up the boards as the defense would tally four sacks on Cam Newton and pick off the former Heisman winner three times on the afternoon.
At times over the past few years, the defense has seemed absolutely reluctant to take advantage of any opportunity. That would not happen on this Sunday as the Saints jumped all over a receiving corps that was missing two starters coming into the game and sent Kelvin Benjamin to the locker room in the first quarter. The defensive line was even more impressive with constant pressure on Newton and, for a nice change, when the other team needed to make plays it was the Saints defense making plays.
It was a fun day for New Orleans and by the time Drew Brees went up top in a 40-yard picture perfect bomb to Ted Ginn Jr. the game was in the bag and the party was just beginning.
The Saints travel across the pond to take on the Miami Dolphins at an ungodly 8:30 a.m. on Oct. 1. If you like your morning pigskin with a side of craft beer, Wayward Owl Brewing is opening its doors at 8 a.m. for you morning revelers.
Up in Uptown
Sometimes it’s not about how many yards you get on the day but getting the yards you need to win the day. Nothing could be truer for Tulane quarterback Jonathan Banks as the junior led the Green Wave to a 21-17 victory over Army West Point at Yulman Stadium.
It was a back-and-forth affair that had the Green Wave faithful feeling the dread of having seen this all before as the Golden Knights took a 17-14 lead with just over five minutes left in the game. The afternoon hadn’t been a kind one for Banks as he struggled through the air. It seemed as if another stellar defensive performance by Tulane, a unit that has played extremely well during Coach Fritz’s first two years, would go to waste.
Enter Jonathan Banks.
OK, like I said, Banks was already in the game but evidently was just waiting for some drama to take over the show. Oh, you say you like drama? Tulane would convert three fourth-down conversions (including a 4th-and-8 at their own 27 yard line) on a mind-boggling 19-play drive that was capped by Banks running in for a four-yard touchdown with 23 seconds remaining for Tulane’s biggest victory of the season.
It was an all hands on deck rushing attack that got the win for the Green Wave. Dontrell Hilliard took off on the first play of the game for a 75-yard touchdown run and finished the day with 134 yards rushing. Not to be outdone, Sherman Badie left everyone in the dust on a 73-yard quick-as-lightning touchdown scamper in the third quarter.
Tulane has a bye week but then will host the Tulsa Golden Hurricane on Oct. 7, 3:00 p.m. at Yulman Stadium. Roll Wave.
And like a fine wine with a steak dinner, every game should be accompanied by a beverage and song.
Beer Pairing: Wayward Owl Brewing will even have coffee for you!
Playlist Recommendation: The Replacements – “Beer for Breakfast”
Around the Way
I would be remiss if I didn’t write about the New Orleans Saints and the rest of the NFL’s response to the sitting president.
The cool part is that the players united against something (someone) that has gone too far. So, some stood arm in arm while others kneeled during the national anthem.
It is still surprising to hear so many people online calling for bans, protests and walkouts on their favorite NFL teams. However, I also respect their right to voice that opinion. Yet, I don’t recall many people calling for protests of the NFL teams who are running a game that is producing some players who, in just a few short years, will not recover from the brain damage sustained from playing this sport for their entertainment. It’s just a game and the players are making a choice those same people might say.
They are right. It is a choice.
I will always love when any American takes the time or opportunity to exercise her or his rights. It’s really what makes this country shine and exemplifies our greatest freedom. It’s also not always pretty and there are times when you won’t agree with the actions of your fellow citizens, rock stars or football players. That’s just the way it goes and sometimes it goes the other way too.
Any day when it becomes mandatory that everyone stand during the national anthem will be a day of diminished freedom for all.