Saints by the Numbers: Teddy delivers in a big way
NEW ORLEANS – After a couple of winning performances without large numbers, Saints quarterback Teddy Bridgewater had his cake and ate it too Sunday in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
Bridgewater completed 26 of 34 passes for 314 yards and four touchdowns in the Saints’ 31-24 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to maintain their hold on first place in the NFC South.
The significance of Bridgewater’s performance? Let us count the ways…
*After the lone blemish on his stat line, a first-quarter interception, Bridgewater responded by completing his next 11 passes, including a perfect 9-for-9 in the second quarter.
*The 300-yard performance was the first by a Saints quarterback not named Drew Brees since Luke McCown in his one start for an injured Brees in 2015. Before that, it was Aaron Brooks, who did it 10 times from 2000-05. Interestingly, Brees is 71-38 as a Saint when passing for at least 300 yards, and before Sunday, all other Saints quarterbacks were 10-30.
*Bridgewater is the sixth quarterback in Saints history to pass for four or more touchdowns in a game, but amazingly, he is tied for second on that list – with one. Brees has done it 31 times, and Brooks, Jim Everett, Bobby Hebert and Billy Kilmer each did it once.
Still Can’t Guard Mike: Wide receiver Michael Thomas had two huge games against Tampa Bay last season, and the Bucs struggled again to slow down Thomas, who finished with 11 receptions for 182 yards and two touchdowns.
Thomas had 180 yards a year ago against the Bucs in the Dome before setting the club single-season record in November against the Los Angeles Rams. His 182 yards Sunday ranks fifth on the team’s all-time list.
Thomas now has 12 games of double-digit receptions in his career, more than any other NFL receiver since he entered the league in 2016.
Thomas is also the first Saint ever with at least 10 catches, 180 yards and two receiving touchdowns in a game. Entering today, the Chargers’ Keenan Allen was the only other player in the league to put up that stat line in 2019.
Sacks Galore: On a day when the late Will Smith was added to the Saints Ring of Honor, the current version of the New Orleans defensive line responded with six sacks of Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston.
It is the second time this year – but only the eighth time this decade – the Saints have recorded at least six sacks. They had six in the season-opening win against Houston.
Interestingly, five of the eight games with six or more sacks since 2010 have come in primetime games, including the Texans game.
Rising to the Occasion: After allowing 515 total yards against Seattle two Sundays ago, the Saints defense has allowed fewer yards (509) in the last two games combined. Dallas gained 257 yards and Tampa Bay finished with 252.
The last time the Saints had back-to-back games allowing 260 yards or fewer was in 2017 against Buffalo and Tampa Bay. If New Orleans can hold Jacksonville to 260 yards next week, it would be the first such three-game streak since 1992, when the Saints’ defense had a five-game streak.
Research assistance provided by the website database Pro Football Reference.
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Lenny was involved in college athletics starting in the early 1980s, when he began working Tulane University sporting events while still attending Archbishop Rummel High School. He continued that relationship as a student at Loyola University, where he graduated in 1987. For the next 11 years, Vangilder worked in the sports information offices at Southwestern Louisiana (now UL-Lafayette) and Tulane;…