2018 ScheduleAll times ET

2018 Schedule
1-1, 2nd in NFC South

Seth Walder ESPN Analytics 

DeSean Jackson and Michael Thomas entered Week 3 as the league's receiving leaders, but got there via very different paths, as you can see in their target plots. Defenses gave Jackson an average of 8.0 yards of cushion, the fourth-most in the league entering the week, per NFL Next Gen Stats. Thomas received 4.9 yards of cushion (83rd-most) and has caught 11 passes on plays in which he received press coverage (3 yards of cushion or less), five more than Antonio Brown and DeAndre Hopkins, who rank second in the category with six such receptions each. In other words, teams are defending Jackson and Thomas differently to try and take away their respective strengths, and yet both are succeeding anyway.

Will Payton and Brees pull off another fourth-quarter comeback? (0:36)

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

According to ESPN Stats and Information, Sunday will mark the 20th head-to-head meeting between the Saints' Drew Brees and Falcons' Matt Ryan as starting quarterbacks. Their 19 meetings are the most in the Super Bowl era between starting quarterbacks, with Jim Kelly-Dan Marino (18) and John Elway-Dave Krieg (18) coming in 2nd. Brees leads the series 11-8.

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

Sean Payton mentioned Ted Ginn Jr., Alvin Kamara and Austin Carr as candidates to replace Tommylee Lewis as the Saints' top punt returner. Ginn would seem to be the most likely option since he has so much experience in his career and since the Saints are already wary about overworking Kamara on offense (though Kamara could at least make cameo appearances when the game situation demands a big play). Payton said of the 33-year-old Ginn: "We just gotta get that gas can in his locker and get him going. I think he's someone who can give you some juice in that area."

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

Drew Brees pinned the Saints' offensive struggles in Week 2 on himself after they scored just three points in the first three quarters before rallying to beat Cleveland 21-18. “Well, I missed Ben Watson on an easy touchdown. I missed Ted Ginn on another one. So you add those up and we probably should've had 20 points going in to halftime, and then it would be a totally different conversation. So every play counts, every opportunity counts.”

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

The Saints placed WR/KR Tommylee Lewis on injured reserve with an unspecified knee injury that he suffered in Week 2. It's unclear if Lewis has a chance of returning later this season. Lewis had already been replaced as the Saints' primary kickoff returner last week when the Saints decided to use third-string quarterback Taysom Hill in the role instead. It's unclear who will return punts now. RB Alvin Kamara and WR Ted Ginn Jr. are among the candidates, but the Saints don't want to overwork Kamara. ... The Saints re-signed veteran DT Jay Bromley to fill Lewis' roster spot. They could potentially need Bromley this week at Atlanta while starting nose tackle Tyeler Davison continues to recover from a foot injury.

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

Safety Marcus Williams on coming up with the Saints' first takeaway of the season in a big moment – an interception against the Browns during a fourth-quarter rally Sunday: “A situation like that, you just gotta make plays. And we always preach turning the ball over. So when the ball came, I just took advantage of the opportunity.”

Stephen Lew/Icon Sportswire
3dChris Low

'Bama family': Kiffin lets Ingram train at FAU

Former Alabama Heisman Trophy running back Mark Ingram, who is currently suspended, worked out at Florida Atlantic on Tuesday with Lane Kiffin and other members of the FAU coaching staff.

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

Saints coach Sean Payton was still perturbed by the offense's performance after reviewing the tape of Sunday's 21-18 win over the Browns. “Too many troubling things on offense. We've gotta improve in a lot of areas,” Payton said. “The communication. The backside cutoffs on some of the runs. Some of the looks to begin with – the short-yardage call is poor by me. … And we have to be better at the tight end position, that's for sure.” Payton also remained hard on WR Michael Thomas for losing a fumble in each of the first two games, despite Thomas' NFL-record 28 catches through two weeks.

Chuck Cook/USA TODAY
5dMike Triplett

Thomas sets catch mark, has 2 TDs in Saints' win

Saints receiver Michael Thomas set another NFL mark with 28 catches through the first two weeks of the season -- including two touchdowns in the fourth quarter of Sunday's come-from-behind win over the Browns.

Tristan H. Cockcroft ESPN Senior Writer 

Most FPTS by a WR in Weeks 1-2 (since 1950): Andre Rison, 1994 ATL, 81.6 Jimmy Smith, 2000 JAX, 79.3 Charley Hennigan, 1962 HOU, 76.7 Henry Ellard, 1989 LAN, 73.9 Rod Smith, 2001 DEN, 71.1 James Lofton, 1983 GB, 70.5 Tim Brown, 1997 OAK, 70.2 Michael Thomas, 2018 NO, 68.9


Saints narrowly prolong Browns winless streak 21-18

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...

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

Redemption for Saints kicker Wil Lutz, who nails a 44-yard field goal after missing one from the exact same distance earlier. Saints now lead 21-18 with 21 seconds remaining.

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

Just when it looked like the Saints' defense was going to be a great redemption story this week, they allowed WR Antonio Callaway to break wide open for a 47-yard TD on fourth-and-5. Callaway got wide open behind CB Ken Crawley. Luckily for New Orleans, the game is still tied 18-18 with 1:16 remaining after the Browns' second missed extra point of the day.

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

The Saints take an 18-12 lead as WR Michael Thomas snags his second touchdown of the day in impressive fashion (he won a hand-fighting battle with cornerback Denzel Ward before going up high to snag the 5-yard pass). Thomas now has 12 catches for 89 yards and two TDs on the day. And his 28 catches set a new NFL record for the most catches through the first two weeks of a season.

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

The Saints' first takeaway of the season is a huge one -- an interception by safety Marcus Williams (the victim of last year's "Minnesota Miracle") with five minutes remaining. Williams returned the pick to Cleveland's 18-yard line, giving the Saints a chance to take their first lead of the day as the Browns lead 12-10.

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

The Saints offense finally waked up with a TD drive in the fourth quarter to keep this game alive. Brees threw a 2-yard TD pass to Michael Thomas, who has another 11 receptions today -- giving him a whopping 27 for the season. The Saints trail the Browns 12-10 with 8:41 -- thanks to their defense keeping them in it for so long. What a change from last week.

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

Saints fans boo after another three-and-out by the offense ends with RB Mike Gillislee getting stuffed on third-and-1. The Saints' run game has gone nowhere today, with a total of 22 yards on 13 carries.

Team Stats

Passing Yards322.54th
Rushing Yards52.532nd
Points For30.56th
Points Against33.030th

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