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10 things we learned from the Saints' 21-18 win against the Cleveland Browns

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By Jeff Duncan | NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas look unstoppable

I’m sure Gregg Williams game-planned to stop the dynamic tandem but Kamara and Thomas still got theirs, combining to produce 188 of the Saints’ 275 total yards. The Kamara-Thomas tandem has produced 67 percent of the Saints' offense and 61 percent of its touches in the first two games as Drew Brees instinctively calls their numbers in important situations. Kamara-Thomas just might just be the best playmaking duo in the NFL right now. The only comparable duo is Pittsburgh’s Antonio Brown...

Saints give Gayle Benson game ball after first win under her ownership

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By Josh Katzenstein, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

The New Orleans Saints had a few players stand out as key figures to help lift them to a victory over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, but the game ball went to someone else after the first win of the season.

Sunday's victory was the first of the Gayle Benson era, and after the game, coach Sean Payton honored her by awarding her with a game ball.

Benson's husband, Tom, died in March at 90. He had owned the team since 1985, and the Saints have expressed a desire to have a successful season, in part, to honor their former owner.

Full Story - NOLA.com

Underhill: Saints survive clash with Browns, but have a ways to go before looking like contenders

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By Nick Underhill | The Advocate

We should probably start by saying the Saints didn’t lose.

Yes, they won, but it feels weird to tell the story with that sentence. That phrase implies action, and it doesn’t feel like there was action taken. It feels more accurate to say the Saints survived and benefitted from a flurry of mistakes by Cleveland, which on Sunday employed a kicker who missed two field goals and two extra points in a 21-18 game. You usually don’t get that lucky.

But it wasn’t a loss. That is what matters today. The Saints are 1-1 and have another opportunity next week to figure things out without having to feel as if their backs are against...

Saints 3 & Out: Defense played well against Browns, but is offense too reliant on Michael Thomas?

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By Nick Underhill | The Advocate

The Saints defense played much better against the Browns than it did in Week 1, but is the offense becoming too reliant on Michael Thomas as a leading option?

Here are Nick Underhill's three biggest takeaways from Sunday's win:

1. The defense played better: That should be the biggest takeaway from this game.

It is fair to point out how bad the final three minutes of the game were for the defense, but there were a lot of positive signs throughout the game.

The defense was organized, played the run reasonably well and did a good job of keeping Tyrod Taylor confined to the...

Drew Brees' Big Game Helps Gets the Victory Over Browns!

Marcus Williams interception provided missing ingredient for Saints' defense

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By Luke Johnson, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

After they got embarrassed by Tampa Bay in Week 1, the New Orleans Saints were putting together a bounce-back defensive performance Sunday (Sept. 16) against the Cleveland Browns, but it still did not taste right, it still was missing that one key ingredient.

Second-year safety Marcus Williams finally provided the flavor the Saints defense craved in the fourth quarter, when he broke on a Tyrod Taylor pass intended for tight end David Njoku near the right hash and intercepted it, sending the entire defense sprinting for their photo op after he was tackled deep in Browns territory.

"It was huge...

Sean Payton unhappy with sloppy Saints

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By James Parks | 247 Sports

View: https://twitter.com/garlandgillen/status/1041422637069688833

The reigning NFC South champions are finally in the win column after two weeks of play as the New Orleans Saints improved to a 1-1 record with a close victory over the visiting Cleveland Browns at the Superdome on Sunday.

Back at .500 after falling to the Buccaneers last week, the Saints now look ahead to the first of their two annual meetings with the arch rival Atlanta Falcons next week. But before then, head coach Sean Payton says the team has a...

Saints receiver Michael Thomas smashing records as he tries to make up for sudden ball-security issues

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By Joel A. Erickson | The Advocate

Michael Thomas put a title to his third NFL season on his Twitter account earlier this week.

No Record Is Safe Tour, Vol. 3.

The first two stops on the tour have lived up to the advanced billing. One week after setting a franchise record against Tampa Bay, Thomas broke an NFL mark with another dominant performance in the Saints' 21-18 victory over the Browns Sunday.

"Individual stats at the end of the day, with a player of my caliber and the guy behind center and the offensive line and all the tools around me, I’m going to catch a lot of footballs," Thomas said. "I’m going to get open. I’ve been doing that my whole...

Lutz’s 44-yard field goal lifts Saints past Browns 21-18

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AP | Fox Sports

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Wil Lutz kicked a 44-yard field goal for New Orleans with 21 seconds left, Cleveland kicker Zane Gonzalez pushed the second of his two missed field goals wide right in the final seconds, and the Saints held on for a 21-18 victory that extended the Browns‘ winless streak to 19 games.

Gonzalez also missed two extra points, one week after his potential winning field goal was blocked in a season-opening tie with Pittsburgh.

Cleveland (0-1-1) carried a two-score lead into the final nine minutes before its latest collapse.

Receiver Michael Thomas had two fourth-quarter touchdowns for the Saints (1-1), who scored 40 points...

Saints win, but they haven't proven anyone right so far

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By Jeff Duncan | NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

One thing is clear after two weeks of the 2018 NFL season: The New Orleans Saints are not proving them right so far.

The trendy Super Bowl picks of many preseason prognosticators are a less-than-impressive 1-1 and looking decidedly less like last season's NFC South champions than the mediocre 7-9 outfits before them.

At this point, the only way the Saints are getting to Super Bowl 53 is if they use their league-allotted tickets for admission rather than scalping.

Whatever Super Bowl aspirations they harbored three weeks ago have quickly extinguished in a pair of...

New Orleans Saints happy with final score, but not much else

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John DeShazier | Senior Writer - NewOrleansSaints.com

The only thing that totally was fulfilling about the New Orleans Saints’ 21-18 victory was the final score.

New Orleans evened its record at 1-1 on Sunday in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome by posting a win over Cleveland that was mistake-filled – by both teams – to say the least. The Saints weren’t at peak efficiency and few, if any, inside the locker room were happy with the means to the end. But it was a win, and a win is better than the alternative.

Still, there’s polishing to do, and a short time in which to do it.

OFFENSE: New Orleans’ offense Sunday bore little resemblance to the unit that...

6 takeaways from the Saints' victory over the Browns

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By Josh Katzenstein, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

It was ugly, but the New Orleans Saints beat the Cleveland Browns on Sunday (Sept. 16) at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

In the 21-18 victory, the Saints overcame a 12-3 deficit in the fourth quarter, eventually winning with a 44-yard field goal from Wil Lutz with 21 seconds remaining. Though the Browns had a chance to tie things up, Zane Gonzalez’s 52-yard field-goal attempt sailed wide right with 3 seconds remaining.

The Saints improve to 1-1 and avoid the embarrassment of being the first team to lose to the Browns since Dec. 24, 2016. On Monday, however, the team will see a lot of issues it needs to...

Saints avoid disaster with first victory, keep Browns waiting

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By Mike Triplett | ESPN Staff Writer

NEW ORLEANS -- It wasn’t anywhere close to pretty. And it wasn’t over until the Cleveland Browns missed their third kick of the game in the final seconds. But the New Orleans Saints avoided a disastrous start to the season with a 21-18 victory on Sunday.

The Saints (1-1) trailed 12-3 to start the fourth quarter. And they gave the Browns two chances to come back in the final minutes. But ultimately they won the game thanks to two fourth-quarter touchdown catches by receiver Michael Thomas, a game-changing interception by safety Marcus Williams and a clutch 44-yard field goal by kicker Wil Lutz with 26 seconds...

Fourth-quarter comeback by Saints avoids disaster in heart-stopping win over Browns

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By Joel A. Erickson | The Advocate

The New Orleans Saints narrowly averted disaster on Sunday.

Punchless on offense for most of the day, New Orleans spent most of the day trailing a Cleveland Browns team that hasn't won a game since Christmas Eve of 2016.

Then Michael Thomas and Marcus Williams brought the Saints back from dead. Behind two touchdowns from Thomas and a game-breaking interception by Williams, New Orleans overcame a nine-point fourth-quarter deficit to beat Cleveland 21-18 on Wil Lutz's 44-yard field goal with 26 seconds left.

New Orleans (1-1) spent most of the game looking like a team that...

Saints stars, young and old, key in 4th quarter rally to sink Browns

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By Luke Johnson, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

The first three quarters belonged to the Cleveland Browns, the fourth quarter belonged to the New Orleans Saints' young stars and the final minutes belonged to those who say age is just a number.

Michael Thomas, Alvin Kamara and Marcus Williams lifted the Saints back into the game by making the big plays that eluded the Saints for the first 45 minutes Sunday (Sept. 16). After the Browns tied things up late with a prayer of a 47-yard touchdown pass on fourth down, 39-year-old Drew Brees and 33-year-old Ted Ginn Jr. teamed up to give Wil Lutz a chance for a go-ahead 44-yard field goal with 21 seconds...

Mike Detillier’s column: Getting it right early

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By Mike Detillier / Sports Correspondent

During the offseason, I’ve wrote many times in this column about the New Orleans Saints getting off to a fast start in the regular season.

When looking at the middle of the schedule, I thought a quick start and wins out of the blocks early would help propel this football team throughout the season and it would break a trend that has been around the organization since 2013.

In 2013, the Saints started the season with a 2-0 record and then went on to finish with an 11-5 mark.

Since 2013, the Saints have started the first 2 games: 2014 (0-2), 2015 (0-2), 2016 (0-2) and 2017...

Browns' Josh Gordon ruled out of Saints game with hamstring

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By Mary Kay Cabot, cleveland.com

NEW ORLEANS, La. - In a surprise move, Browns star receiver Josh Gordon was ruled out of the Saints game with a hamstring injury on Saturday afternoon, just before the Browns' flight left Cleveland.

Gordon, who was not listed on the injury report all week including Friday, arrived at the Browns facility on Saturday morning for the trip to New Orleans complaining about his hamstring, and the medical staff checked him out. It was determined that he couldn't play, and he was kept home from the trip.

In the early part of practice open to the media on Friday...

Saints rookie DT Taylor Stallworth, expected to play this weekend, says his 'dream is finally coming true'

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By Nick Underhill | The Advocate

Taylor Stallworth could have an opportunity to have a role this week.

With starting nose tackle Tyeler Davison ruled out of action with a foot injury, it seems likely that the undrafted rookie will step up and fill a role this week against the Cleveland Browns. And if this is his chance, he’s ready.

“I feel like the preparation for me went good,” he said. “Getting to know the Browns, how they run their stuff the different schemes that they have, different play methods that they have. Just the whole week of preparation feels good to me. My opportunity is...

Two fines for roughing the passer cost Saints tackle David Onyemata more than Week 1 game check

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By Joel A. Erickson | The Advocate

Saints defensive tackle David Onyemata was fined $40,108 for two roughing-the-passer penalties committed against Tampa Bay.

For Onyemata, the cost was more than he earned for Sunday's game. Onyemata receives $37,509 per game.

Onyemata and the rest of the NFL's defensive linemen are going to have to adjust. Fifteen roughing-the-passer penalties were called in the opening week of the NFL season, including five for the defender landing with his body weight on the quarterback, the so-called Aaron Rodgers rule enacted this offseason...

3-and-out: Are the Saints getting what they want from kickoff returns?

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By Nick Underhill | The Advocate

Are the Saints getting what they want from the kickoff return unit? – Kevin Ionetta

It’s still early.

Teams are still figuring out how things are going to play with the new kickoff rules, though it should be settling down now.

Tommylee Lewis didn’t do a bad job last week. The Saints had three returns for 69 yards. Their 23-yard average would have placed eighth in the NFL last season right ahead of New Orleans, which averaged 22.9 yards per return.

Special teams coach Mike Westhoff said earlier this summer he would like to use Alvin...


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