Yesterday’s NFC matchup between the Los Angeles Rams and New Orleans Saints was the first time the two teams played since their infamous NFC Championship matchup back in January. It was nowhere near as exciting of a game, primarily because the Rams dominated.
Yesterday’s game was interesting, not only because the Rams won by a lot (I know fans expected a closer game), but because Saints quarterback Teddy Bridgewater played a majority of the game. When I first turned the game on, I was surprised because the Saints have one of the league’s best offenses. I thought Brees was having a slow start.
That was not the case yesterday. In the first quarter, Brees’ throwing hand hit Aaron Donald when extending his arm after a pass. If you watch the replay, Brees’ fingers on his right hand move awkwardly after the pass. After the play was dead, Brees came out of the game and got his thumb looked at by Saints personnel.
When Bridgewater came into the game, Saints fans hoped he could lead them to victory against the Rams. Off the bat, Bridgewater struggled, getting sacked on two consecutive plays. Bridgewater recovered, and ended up having a decent game, completing 17 of 30 passes for 165 yards.
Unfortunately, Bridgewater was not able to lead any touchdown drives, as the Saints’ only scores after Brees left the game were two field goals by kicker Wil Lutz: one from 52 yards, and the other from 42 yards. If the Saints want to win games while Brees is out, Bridgewater will need to play better (and the offensive line will actually have to block).
When asked about his thumb injury, Brees replied “Yeah, I am concerned. I’m hoping it’s not too significant.” Brees did not seem too sure about what the daignosis would be, but his repsonse tells me that he is “preparing for the worst, but hoping for the best.”
Saints fans should be doing the same: preparing for the worst, but hoping for the best. The Saints should be okay though: in addition to Bridgewater, they have dual-threat quarterback Taysom Hill, the veteran out of BYU who more commonly plays wide receiver and kick returner for the Saints.
The Saints could use a weapon like Hill with Brees out. In addition to his speed and pass-catching abilities, Hill can throw the ball quite well. He would continue to fit well in an offense with dynamic weapons like Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas.
The first thought might be to count the Saints out of the playoffs, but with the team they have, the Saints might still be a lock.