The New Orleans Saints entered Thursday’s matchup with the Buffalo Bills a battered team. They were missing Jameis Winston, Alvin Kamara, Marcus Davenport, Ryan Ramczyk, and Michael Thomas, the latter of whom they’ve been without all season long. That many injuries makes it incredibly difficult to nail down players to watch, as it’s tough to know who is even going to play.
Well, even with that caveat, I had a rough day at the office in terms of picking players. When 40 percent of your list of players to watch don’t even play, that’s not good. The players on our list who did suit up, though, were contained by a dominant Buffalo squad.
Here’s how our foes to watch fared last week.
QB Trevor Siemian
With each errant throw, I kept wondering when head coach Sean Payton was going to pull the plug on Siemian, who has kicked around as a backup for a reason over the last few years. He lost his fourth straight start on Thursday, and while quarterback wins are definitely not a stat, a team losing four straight with its backup definitely spurs action. Siemian completed just 17-of-29 passes for 163 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. Of his passing yardage, 95 of those yards came after the Bills took a 24-0 lead late in the third quarter.
RB Tony Jones Jr.
The Saints saw what the Indianapolis Colts did to the Bills last Sunday and thought that they could do the same thing. They could not replicate that success, mostly because they didn’t have Jonathan Taylor...or even Alvin Kamara. Jones Jr. carried the ball 17 times, gaining just 26 yards on the night. He was never a threat to break anything big all game, and while his longest carry was 11 yards, Buffalo did a great job shutting down the New Orleans offense.
QB/WR/TE Taysom Hill
Even as Siemian struggled, Hill carried the clipboard and wore the earpiece all night. He did not play a snap. Reports indicate, though, that he is taking first-team reps in practice this week, so it’s possible that Hill is the Saints’ starting quarterback this week.
DE Marcus Davenport
Davenport was declared inactive hours after our report published, so he did not play in the game.
CB Marshon Lattimore
The Saints’ top corner found himself matched up with Stefon Diggs on a few occasions, and while the battle was intense, Diggs definitely bested the three-time Pro Bowl corner. Lattimore allowed a touchdown reception to Diggs in the third quarter on a route that made him look silly. He finished the game with five tackles and a pass breakup.