NFL News & Analysis

NFL Week 3 Game Recap: New Orleans Saints 28, New England Patriots 13

Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New Orleans Saints cornerback P.J. Williams (26) reacts to an interception of New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) during the first half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Saints bounced back against the New England Patriots, winning on the road 28-13 thanks in part to a stellar defensive performance. New Orleans’ defense picked off Mac Jones twice, returning one for a touchdown and the other inside the Patriots' 10-yard line. Those two plays were the big difference in the game.

Click here for more PFF tools:

Rankings & ProjectionsWR/CB Matchup ChartNFL & NCAA Betting DashboardsNFL Player Props toolNFL & NCAA Power Rankings

The Saints offense matriculated down the field slowly but surely for most of the game, with Alvin Kamara grinding out 89 rushing yards and Jameis Winston gaining just 128 passing yards on 13 completions. The Saints will finally get to play in the Superdome next week against the New York Giants, while the Patriots host Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers next week. 

New Orleans Saints


Winston had trouble pushing the ball downfield and had to stand around in the pocket waiting for receivers to get open. That led to three sacks and only 6.1 yards per attempt, although his average depth of target was 10.3 yards

Jameis Winston by depth of target
Completions Attempts Yards TD:INT
Behind LOS 3 3 30 0:0
0-9 Yards 6 7 51 1:0
10-19 Yards 4 6 47 1:0
20+ Yards 0 3 0 0:0
Running Back

Kamara had 27 touches for 118 total yards. He was given the bulk of the handoffs, with backup Tony Jones Jr. handling just two carries. Kamara forced three missed tackles, and 60 of his 89 rushing yards came after contact. 


Marquez Callaway was the Saints' most targeted receiver, catching four of five looks for 41 yards. He was targeted twice on contested catch opportunities and caught both of them, one for a touchdown. He and Deonte Harris were the only Saints pass catchers with over 2.0 yards per route run — Callaway at 2.56 and Harris at 2.07

Offensive Line

Terron Armstead went down early in the game and didn’t return. He was replaced by James Hurst. For the second straight game, the interior offensive line played poorly, with Cesar Ruiz, Calvin Throckmorton and Andrus Peat combining to allow eight pressures.

Defensive Line

Cameron Jordan had six total pressures coming into the game and added eight this week. He also notched two run stops. Carl Granderson and Tanoh Kpassagnon each had three, with Kpassagnon adding a sack. 


Demario Davis was everywhere for New Orleans. He had seven tackles, a pressure and a pass breakup. Alongside him, Peter Werner played 39 snaps as the Saints continued to try to find someone to play next to Davis with Kwon Alexander still out. 


Malcolm Jenkins was thrown at nine times but only allowed four catches for 12 yards — he also returned a game-changing interception for a touchdown. The Saints welcomed back Marshon Lattimore after a week's absence. He only allowed three catches on eight targets and ended the game with an interception. P.J. Williams had the third interception.

Sep 26, 2021; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston (2) passes the ball against New England Patriots during the first half at Gillette Stadium. Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

New England Patriots


Trailing for most of the game meant 50 dropbacks for Jones, and he was under pressure for 18 of them. Jones had his highest average depth of target — by far — in his young NFL career. After a 6.5 yard average depth in Week 1 and 4.5 last week, he upped his number to 11.7 against the Saints

Mac Jones Under Pressure
Completions Attempts Yards aDOT
Under Pressure 8 15 69 12.0
Clean Pocket 22 34 201 11.8
Running Back

The Patriots' running back had little to do considering the game script. Damien Harris had six carries for 14 yards and Brandon Bolden handled three for -1. New England averaged -0.1 yards before contact per rush.


Only Kendrick Bourne (2.18) had a yards per route run mark above 2.0 for the team. He caught six balls on eight targets — only six were catchable — for 96 yards. 

Offensive Line

Justin Heron allowed a whopping eight pressures, although none turned into sacks. David Andrews allowed four and the offensive line as a unit allowed 16. 

Defensive Line

Three Patriots defensive linemen had at least three pressures each: Deatrich Wise Jr., Christian Barmore and Matthew Judon. Judon finished with two solo sacks and combined with Wise Jr. on another one. 


Ja’Whaun Bentley made six tackles without missing any, including two defensive stops in the game, one against the pass and one against the run.


Jonathan Jones was picked on the most. He allowed three catches on four targets but only for 23 yards. Unfortunately, he was the one who allowed Marquez Callaway to reach over him for a contested catch touchdown. Jalen Mills was thrown at three times but only allowed one catch for 12 yards.

You've got the first pick with your finances. Western Southern Financial Group.

NFL Featured Tools

  • Live picks, grades and reaction to the 2022 NFL Draft.

  • PFF's Big Board for the 2023 NFL Draft offers three-year player grades, combine measurables, position rankings, and in-depth player analysis for all of the top draft prospects.

    Available with

  • 250+ three-page scouting profiles - advanced stats, 3-year grades, player comps, combine data and Senior Bowl grades - for the 2022 draft class.

    Available with

  • PFF's exclusive metrics provide matchup previews, position rankings, grades, and snap counts.

    Available with

  • Our exclusive database, featuring the most in-depth collection of NFL player performance data.

    Available with

Pro Subscriptions

Unlock NFL Player Grades, Fantasy & NFL Draft

$9.99 / mo
$39.99 / yr

Unlock Premium Stats, PFF Greenline & DFS

$34.99 / mo
$199.99 / yr