NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The Saints were the heavy favorites on paper, and a big reason why was cornerback Marshon Lattimore.
Flash back to a year ago. He had one of the league's most talented receivers, Tampa Bay's Mike Evans, visibly frustrated and off his game. But today was a great reminder of how the NFL works.
"Nothing about last year carries over to this year," says head coach Sean Payton. "I've said it a million times."
That was certainly the case for Evans, who caught all seven targets from Ryan Fitzpatrick for 147 yards and a touchdown. Four of those receptions came with Lattimore in man coverage.
"He had some plays," says Lattimore. "He won the 50-50 balls. It is what it is. It's the NFL. Everybody's going to have their day."
The 50-yard touchdown is the one that stings the most. And while it's certainly not easy having the shut down corner label and the responsibility of man coverage without much help, Lattimore knows those are the plays that he can't let happen.
"I've just got to be there," says the 2017 Pro Bowl corner. "I'm out on an island by myself. No help. No nothing."
But as we all saw, it wasn't just Lattimore. When asked what the issue was with the defense, Payton simply responded, "Take your pick."
They didn’t do much right at all, and it leaves them a whole lot to clean up before hosting the Browns in seven days.