Many factors contributed to the Saints’ 28-10 win over the Panthers in Charlotte. One that deserves some specific attention comes from the matchup between Carolina rookie receiver Kelvin Benjamin and New Orleans cornerback Keenan Lewis.
Lewis wasn’t supposed to be able to handle Benjamin, because Benjamin stands four inches taller than Lewis — and because Benjamin quickly has become one of the best young receivers in the league. Lewis got the job done, limiting Benjamin to a career low two catches for 18 yards. And Lewis doesn’t appreciate the presumption that he can’t cover a guy like Benjamin.
“Definitely, I take it personal,” Lewis said after the game, via Katherine Terrell of the New Orleans Times-Picayune. “I have pride in what I do. . . . I definitely feel like I’m one of the best in this league, even though I don’t get the credit. To say I can’t match up with somebody, that definitely offends me.”
Lewis got credit Thursday night from the guy whose opinion matters most.
“You watch Keenan Lewis, I just finished telling him, he was outstanding,” coach Sean Payton said.
That doesn’t mean it was easy for Lewis.
“He scared me!” Lewis said. “It’s definitely a matchup I have to prepare for, for years.”
Or maybe he was being sarcastic. Based on how Benjamin did last night against Lewis, that’s definitely possible.