The 2017 Defensive Rookie of the Year
Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore said he’s heard the term “sophomore slump” applied to him early this season.The 2017 Defensive Rookie of the Year sounds certain his critics will have to eat those words as the season wears on.But he also agrees the numbers haven’t been pretty for New Orleans’ pass defense the past few weeks Marcus Davenport Jersey White , and as one of the stars of the secondary, he has to answer for that.“We’ve been doing some stuff out of character,” said Lattimore, referring specifically to mistakes in technique and ineffective communication among defensive backs.“We’ve just got to get on the same page and do certain things, like, together. And once we figure that out, we’re going to get it right. But it’s just got to start with playing with more swag. That eliminates everything. Playing with that confidence and going out there and getting it done.”New Orleans, which visits the New York Giants this week, ranks 30th against the pass, allowing 336.7 yards passing per game.Even more concerning to Saints coach Sean Payton is that the Saints rank last in the NFL in yards allowed per pass attempt Womens Marcus Davenport Jersey , a result of some of the deep passes they’ve given up in all three games.There were touchdowns passes of 58 yards to Tampa Bay’s DeSean Jackson and 50 yards to Mike Evans in the opener; Tyrod Taylor’s 47-yard, game-tying touchdown to Antonio Callaway in the final minutes of a Week 2 matchup with Cleveland that the Saints ultimately pulled out; and a 75-yard scoring pass to Atlanta’s Calvin Ridley in Week 3.And those are just the scoring plays. Other deep throws produced big gains either on catches or pass interference penalties.Altogether, the Saints have yielded 45 or more yards on six different pass plays — one of them due to pass interference called on cornerback Ken Crawley.“If there’s only two things happening — a pass interference or completion — and there’s no interception opportunity, then teams are going to take multiple (deep) shots more and more and more,” Payton said this week. “I don’t like the fact that we’ve had one takeaway after three games.“There are a handful of things that need improvement fast.”Saints defensive backs took no issue with Payton’s criticism.“It ain’t like he’s not telling the truth,” Lattimore said. “They see they can go deep and get a positive play out of it. I’d do the same thing playing us. But we’re going to turn it around. We’re going to get it right. I’m not really worried about that.”Safety Vonn Bell said he saw Payton’s expressions of concern as motivational.“We’ve got to change that — stop the deep balls, keep everything in front, make them throw the check-downs and get off the field,” Bell said.“And we’ve got to change that on the back end. Challenge accepted. Go out there, step up to the challenge and my cat don’t catch it. That’s all you got to do and we’ve got each other’s back.”And the improvement will have to come without top nickel back Patrick Robinson Tre’Quan Smith Jersey White , a veteran acquired from Philadelphia in free agency who was placed on injured reserve after injuring his ankle last week.Giants veteran quarterback Eli Manning sounded hesitant to read too much into the small sample size of failure New Orleans’ secondary has put on video during the season’s opening three weeks — particularly because New Orleans has gone up against elite receivers such as Evans, Jackson and Atlanta’s Julio Jones, not to mention Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan.“They’ve just gone against a couple of high-powered offenses that have good receivers and guys have won some battles,” Manning said.“They do a lot of different looks on defense, so we have got to be prepared for all of them and make sure we can hold up and hopefully give our guys some opportunities to win those one-on-one battles.”The Giants present the Saints with the challenge of covering another elite receiver — one who is all too well known in his native New Orleans. That would be Odell Beckham Jr., who went to the same high school as the Mannings before starring at LSU, and who had nine catches for 109 yards in New York’s victory over Houston last week.“Got to bang him up. Got to hit him. Got to get him frustrated, get him out of his game,” Bell said.If the Saints can’t slow down Beckham, expect Manning to be the latest to try his hand at the deep ball against the Saints.Notes: Saints rookie defensive end Marcus Davenport (hip) and linebacker Manti Teo (knee) both missed practice on Thursday. Left guard Andrus Peat was limited by his sore ankle. Patrick Mahomes has dazzled NFL audiences with no-look passes Womens Alvin Kamara Jersey , left-handed throws and stellar performances in just his first full season as a starter.The dynamic Mahomes has the Kansas City Chiefs (11-3) leading the AFC and he’s already earning top honors.Mahomes barely squeaked past Drew Brees as the NFL’s top quarterback in 2018 in voting released Friday by a panel of 10 football writers for The Associated Press. Mahomes received six first-place votes, three seconds and one third. Brees got the other four first-place votes.“When Mahomes got off to a ridiculously good start, many wondered if he could keep up that pace. The answer has been a resounding yes, and the Chiefs gunslinger has shown no sign of slowing,” said New York-based Dennis Waszak Jr.Mahomes has 45 touchdown passes and a chance to become just the third player to reach 50. Peyton Manning set the single-season record with 55 TDs in 2013. Tom Brady had 50 in 2007.“The poster boy for wild creativity in the wide-open offensive environment that pervades the NFL, Mahomes has that star quality teams crave,” said New York-based Barry Wilner, who put Mahomes third behind Brees and Philip Rivers. “He also has the talent they desperately need to succeed.”Brees, at age 39, is having a sensational season. He already broke Manning’s record for career yards passing and surpassed Brett Favre’s mark for most completions. He’s on pace to break his own record for highest completion percentage in a season Michael Thomas Saints Jersey , and he has the New Orleans Saints (12-2) on the verge of securing the NFC’s No. 1 seed.“He’s taken his game to another level this year, posting some of the best marks of a brilliant career,” San Francisco-based Josh Dubow said.Rivers finished third in voting. The 38-year-old is having perhaps his finest season and has the Los Angeles Chargers (11-3) back in the playoffs with a chance to surpass the Chiefs for the top spot.“One of his generation’s most underappreciated players has finally begun to get the praise deserved for the Bolts’ 11-wins-and-counting surge,” said Minnesota-based Dave Campbell.Andrew Luck came in fourth after missing the entire 2017 season and returning to help the Indianapolis Colts get back into the playoff chase.“He’s back and so are the Colts. Wonder if Josh McDaniels has any regrets about reneging on that gig now,” said Denver-based Arnie Stapleton.Brady finished fifth in the poll after placing first in September.“Not the best season by his near-impossible standards, but the G.O.A.T. still has the Patriots a win away from yet another AFC East title,” said New York-based Simmi Buttar.Russell Wilson was sixth followed Aaron Rodgers, Jared Goff, Deshaun Watson and Ben Roethlisberger. Wilson has helped the Seattle Seahawks (8-6) move toward a playoff berth in what was supposed to be a rebuilding season.“Wilson has gone from a quarterback who rode a great defense to a Super Bowl title early in his career to one leading his team to a likely playoff berth this year,” Dubow said. “Few have the ability to extend plays like Wilson Marcus Davenport Jersey , who regularly turns what look like busted plays into big ones.”Rodgers only has thrown two interceptions, but he dropped in the rankings because the Green Bay Packers are 5-8-1 and cost coach Mike McCarthy his job. Rodgers hasn’t had a losing record since his first season as starter in 2008.“Having only two interceptions this season would be more impressive if the Packers were having more success,” Tennessee-based Teresa Walker said. “Instead, there’s not been much difference since firing Mike McCarthy.”Only 13 quarterbacks received votes. Matt Ryan was named on six ballots, Baker Mayfield was on three and Carson Wentz, who finished third in NFL MVP voting last season, made one list.