After Sunday’s loss, we can almost confirm that the Saint’s so-called “continuity” cannot be considered an advantage this season, or at the very least, as much as they expected it to be.
The Saints fell 1-2 with a 37-30 loss to the Green Bay Packers in the Superdome. This is the first time in over two years that they lose back-to-back games (last time they hit a 0-2 start was way back in 2017). “It’s been a while since we felt that, but three years ago, we were 0-2. A little bit of gut check, and yet we aren’t playing well enough. Let’s not fool ourselves. We are making too many mistakes. We aren’t playing disciplined enough on both sides of the ball. That’s really just the truth”, said Saints coach Sean Payton.
Payton pulls no punches ahead of Lions match
Fully aware of this bad record, the coach is acknowledging how difficult and precarious the situation really is. “You’re frustrated as a coach because that starts with us. We have to do a better job. We have to get ready to play a better game against Detroit,” said Payton.
The bruising loss came despite an amazing performance by running back Alvin Kamara who almost single-handedly carried the Saints to victory with a career-high 139 receiving yards on precisely 13 catches, plus a total of 197 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns. Kamara is doing everything possible but despite these incredible stats, it wasn’t enough. “I think we just gotta find more”, said Kamara. “We gotta find more on offense, we gotta find more on defense, we gotta find more on special teams. We all gotta do more. We gotta correct the mistakes. It’s little things killing us – penalties, some the same stuff that went on last week. We just gotta play smarter. We gotta play better”.
Brees needs to up his level and find his humility
In part, this defeat is due to the lack of performance displayed by quarterback Drew Brees, who did improve his game a little in comparison to the loss at Las Vegas. He threw for 288 yards and three touchdowns. But there is no doubt these numbers are below what he can do on the field. Brees has been scrutinized all season for not throwing the ball downfield. In fact, his average air yards per attempt dropped from a league-low of just 4.81 to 4.61. Instead of acknowledging his mistakes, he keeps pointing out his amazing throws. “We called a couple shot plays today and unfortunately, again we just got bad looks. Ironically, the second one was the one where I threw it to Alvin Kamara, and he went 52 yards for a touchdown. So, I don’t care how far I have to throw the ball down the field. My job is to make good decisions. I’m not gonna force it if it’s not there”, said Brees.
Defensively, the Saints have a lot of homework to do. In Sunday’s game they couldn’t make up for two deep passes from Aaron Rodgers to Allen Lazard. Not to mention a costly mistake by read-options QB Taysom Hill in Packers territory in the fourth quarter. Last but not least, they increased their NFL-leading penalty yardage with eight penalties for 83 yards.
There is plenty of work to do. Let’s wait and see how the events will unfold in the following games for the Saints.