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Bobby Hebert: Saints played the best and beat the best

Bobby Hebert
November 07, 2018 - 9:02 am
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by: Jordan Fiegel

At 7-1, the Saints may statistically only have the third best record in the NFL, but right now, are they the best team?  The Cajun Cannon Bobby Hebert says there’s only one team besides the Saints that has a case.  “They’re definitely in the conversation.  The Chiefs have an argument, too, with what they’re doing.  The Saints don’t play Kansas City unfortunately, but we’re definitely one of the top two.”

One point in favor of the Saints, Hebert says, is the quality of the teams they’ve beaten.  “We’ve gone against some of the best and weathered the storm.  In this tough stretch, I thought we’d be 2-2; but to go 4-0 is a great accomplishment.  These last four wins have come against teams either in first place or tied for first place in their division.  If you want to be the best, you have to beat the best; and the Saints have been able to do that.”

With the Black & Gold playing so well, it’s not surprising that Drew Brees is having another outstanding season.  He leads the NFL in completion percentage (76.3%), has thrown for 2,336 yards and has a sterling 18-1 touchdown to interception ratio.  When it comes to the NFL MVP discussion, Hebert again said there’s only one other possible frontrunner.  “Either Drew Brees or Kansas City quarterback Pat Mahomes should be the frontrunner right now.  Things got a little clearer with the Saints and Drew Brees going head-to-head against another candidate, Todd Gurley.  Looking at the production of Brees and Gurley, Drew Brees surpassed Todd Gurley.  Drew is right up there with Mahomes for MVP, and it’ll be interesting to watch that battle week in and week out.”

As Hebert pointed out, the Saints did a good job of containing Todd Gurley, the NFL’s leading rusher by a substantial margin.  “I was a little surprised at how well the Saints stopped Todd Gurley.  At the midway point, you can’t say it’s just smoke and mirrors or that teams are just focusing on the pass.  If you look at how much opposing defenses are averaging per carry, it’s just 3.4 yards.  That’s #1 in the NFL too.  They’re playing at a high level.  It’s somewhat surprising but also impressive.  No one really thought the Saints would have this type of run defense.”

On the other side of the ball, the Cajun Cannon singled out Michael Thomas for praise.  “I always thought that Brandin Cooks was really good, but Michael Thomas is even better and he proved that against the Rams.  Brandin Cooks had a nice game, but Michael Thomas had an even better one with 12 receptions and a franchise-record 211 receiving yards, including a career long 72 reception.”

That 72 yard reception was also a touchdown, which put New Orleans up 45-35.  After the score, Thomas pulled out a flip phone and his best Joe Horn impersonation.  Some criticized the second year wide out for costing the Saints 15 yards on the kickoff, but Hebert didn’t have any problems with it.  “With the timing of it, I think it’s no big deal.  His touchdown put the Saints up two possessions.  It should be a non-story.  If it had been a one score game, it wouldn’t have been worth it; but in that situation, it’s not a big deal.”

The tough stretch Hebert mentioned doesn’t get any easier with a trip to Cincinnati this coming weekend.  “The Bengals are in the thick of things in a tough AFC North.  It’ll be a challenge for the Saints.  It won’t be a trap game because the Bengals are legit.  They’re winning and in the playoff race.  So it’ll be tough going on the road against them.”

 

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