Last week, I predicted that it would be a T.J. Hockenson party in Arizona. While Hockenson did shine, it wasn’t just him—it was a party for the whole tight ends room. Jesse James came out of hibernation to the tune of three catches for 28 yards, which is more than he had in his previous four games combined, going back to 2019. This week, the magic continues.
Bold Prediction of the Week: Tight ends put up 150+ yards, 2 TDs vs. Saints.
Everyone, including me, seems to have forgotten that there are tight ends on this team beyond T.J. Hockenson. Darrell Bevell took advantage of that last week by bringing Jesse James out from up his sleeve. While Hockenson didn’t reach the bold prediction targets I set for him, the tight end unit as a whole balled out.
The Saints are absolutely decimated on defense. Through three weeks, they’ve been one of the worst teams in the league in guarding tight ends. To add injury to injury (that’s how the old saying goes, right?) they’re also down their top two cornerbacks in former Pro Bowler Marshon Lattimore and former All Pro Janoris Jenkins.
That means the secondary will have their hands full picking up on the cornerback slack. That’ll leave tight ends free to roam in the secondary. If Bevell really wants to stretch the Saints linebackers thin, he can try lining up Hockenson as a wide receiver and leaving James hidden on the line.
The Saints are going to be undermanned all day and so long as Matthew Stafford & Co. show up somewhat on point, they’re going to carve the Saints defense to pieces, with the tight ends leading the way.