Saints Spank Patriots 34-0 Behind Anti-Zion QB

Photo by All Pro Reels / License

Trivia question of the week?

What NFL QB has started the most NFL games in the last nine years?

The New Orleans Saints team that showed up in New England last Sunday to deliver an embarrassing 34-0 spanking to the Patriots was close to the team more optimistic fans expected.

It shows you that this team can be successful if the OL gives Derk Carr the time he needs to find open receivers and opens enough daylight for Alvin Kamara and Kendre Miller.

Under siege by critics, Pete Carmichael also improved his performance against the Patriots, a team that is supposed to have a good defense. Carmichael needs to adjust his play calling to suit this team, not the team of yesteryear. More play-action passes. More middle-of-the-field passes.

A key part of Carr’s game is that Carr shows up to play the games. He has started more games in the NFL in the last nine years than any other QB. Novel, that. Who knew?

Yes, a player who gets millions to play can play.

With basketball season approaching fast, this might make Carr the Anti-Zion.


In his second game back from his suspension, Kamara showed his quick-hitting slashing style . Miller, the rookie who spelled Kamara with hard running, promises to add a dimension to the team going forward that will help put away close games with key first downs. That is as long as the OL plays like they did in Foxboro. That is a big if, but perhaps the high draft picks along the OL are coming into their own.

Michael Thomas showed why he is a star. He’s tough as nails and sure-handed. Thomas must continue to be one of the guys that Carr relies on third down. And he must stay on the field.

Olave has been a bit quiet, but along with Rashid Shaheed, they give Carr the best WR corps the Saints have had in years. I can only dream of what Drew Brees could have done with a receiving corp as talented as this one.

One downer for the offense and one that is perplexing was the raft of pre-snap penalties. What the hell? Is this a pro team or a junior high squad? Sheesh!

Grupe also kicked it through from  50 yards twice. But again, I need to see Grupe hit a game-winner before I’m sold. But it alleviates some of my fears about his long-term value to the team.


I was DEAD wrong about this game. The Saints team I saw in weeks 3 and 4 was a team in trouble. The group I saw in New England is the one I thought they would be this year: a favorable schedule, a new QB, many offensive weapons, and a stout defense.


The defense showed up this week. There was even a pass rush. Granderson is an emerging force on D. Cam Jordan showed some of his pass-rushing chops.

I would still like to see Kamara thrown the ball downfield more. 

Did you notice that Kamara turned upfield for extra yards as opposed to moseying out of bounds?

It’s only one game, but it gives a good dose of hope that the Saints are hitting their stride.

However, each week in the NFL is a new week. Every team in this league is flush with excellent football players. Even the bad teams have some of the best players on Earth. On any given Sunday, anything can happen.

No gimmes.

We’ll find out this week if this team is on the right track. We’ve played 3 of the worst teams in the league and are only 3-2.

 I wonder if Kamara had been with us since game one if we would be 4-1. 

This off-field baloney has real-world win-and-loss consequences.


The Texans are playing much better than most people thought they would under first-year coach Demeco Ryans and rookie QB C.J. Stroud. Stroud has emerged as the cream of the QB rookie crop. He has size and pocket presence. The Saints will need to get after him.

I’ll get straight this week by picking the Saints to win, N.O. 24-Houston 14.

The Saints need to win this game to keep on track to a playoff season. They already let one get away at Green Bay. They do not have the luxury of blowing winnable games.

Yes, New Orleans, it is possible to win without Zion. 

Woody Allen said it. “90 percent of life is just showing up.”


If you’re a bettor of NFL games, it’s worth noting that the Jacksonville Jaguar’s familiarity with London is a factor in the games played in England. 

Warning: You should know that if you bet on football, the juice will kill you 


Supplied by Peter King 

“Dear Patriots fans under 35. Welcome to what it used to be like.”

                                      John Tomase, NBC Sports Boston

“She was questionable all week, but it looks like she is officially inactive.”

                                     Jim Nantz, on Taylor Swift’s two-week streak attending Kansa City Chiefs games.

Parting thought- Deuce Mcallister is a gem of a color commentator. He tells it like it is. And Bobby Hebert is one of a kind as a football commentator. I’ll have more to say about Hebert in a later column. He is unique among NFL pundits.

Who Dat!!!

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