On Sunday afternoon, the New Orleans Saints (3-2) held on for a gutsy road victory over the Washington Football Team (2-3). Despite losing the time of possession battle, the Saints' offense looked as good as they have all season, thanks mainly to Jameis Winston and the deep ball passing attack.
New Orleans will have a week of rest as they enter their BYE Week at 3-2 and expect up to nine starters back in Week 7.
Below is a look inside the numbers from the Saints third victory of 2021.
Following the first five weeks of the 2021 NFL season, New Orleans finds itself as the NFL's most efficient offense and defense in the Red Zone this season.
The Saints rank first in the NFL in Red Zone touchdowns scoring percentage at 92.9% (13 touchdowns on 14 possessions) and are tied for tops in the league in Red Zone touchdowns allowed percentage at 35.7% (5 touchdowns allowed on 14 possessions).
New Orleans' Red Zone dominance should only continue with Michael Thomas and Tre'Quan Smith returning to the offense, along with David Onyemata and Kwon Alexander returning to the defense in the coming weeks.
There has been a lot of talk about whether Sean Payton fully trusts Jameis Winston as the team's starting quarterback. And while the duo may still be building trust and limiting Winston's gunslinging, the former first-overall pick is growing into the game manager's role.
With Winston's interception numbers down from this time in 2019, he is proving that he is can protect the football much better than early on in his NFL career. However, Jameis is also finding the end-zone at a better clip.
Winston currently leads the NFL with the highest touchdown per pass attempt percentage this season at 10.3%. He also has career highs in quarterback rating, and touchdown to interception ratio.
What a day for Saints punter Blake Gillikin! Gillikin's impact on the game was evident from praises from his head coach, quarterback, Thomas Morstead, and running back, and even praise from Washington's QB Taylor Heinicke. However, it was not until after the game that many realized how historic the former Nitty Lion's day was in Washington.
Gillikin became the first punter since 2000 to have three punts of 53+ yards downed inside the 3-yard line.
Gillikin joked in his post-game presser that the recognition has "meant alot" and that he would "love to not punt at all" because it means the team is doing well. But to "have that kind of game and also get a win is great."