The New Orleans Saints lost in one of the wildest endings we have seen for quite some time on Sunday, and it unfortunately came in what might have been the most important game of the year. While the play was ugly at times for the Saints, we also saw some good things that should encourage fans going forward.
Going into this game, the Saints only had 11 sacks on the season, which was T-30th in the league. They are now T-23rd because they managed to get to Trevor Siemian six times! That is 54 percent of what they managed to do in the previous eight games, and a really good sign for the defense, who couldn’t get to any quarterback no matter the quality of the offensive line to begin things.
And the pressure Dennis Allen and his defense got on Siemian also helped them make plays in the secondary. Both Sterling Moore and Kenny Vaccaro managed to pick off the young quarterback, and the Vaccaro interception was a direct result of the pressure from the defensive line. Cameron Jordan and Paul Kruger both beat the tackles and combined to hit Siemian right as he threw the ball, and it went straight into the hands of Vaccaro, who was helping Sterling Moore in coverage against Demaryius Thomas.
This game was a great example of what can happen if the Saints get pressure on the opposing quarterback and force them to make bad throws. We haven’t seen it much this season, but hopefully it was a sign for better things to come.
Another thing that should encourage you is the Saints consistent ability to stay in games despite turnovers. Even with four turnovers on offense, the team was still in position take the lead down the stretch and would have done so if it wasn’t for the blocked extra point attempt.
We have seen this several times this season. In fact, the Saints have lost 4 out of 5 games by 6 points or less. While we all would prefer them to win those games, it still shows a lot about the strength of a team, both physically and mentally.
The loss really stings for the Saints, first of all because of the controversial ending, but also because with a little bit more execution the Saints would have won that game and be over .500 right now. There were some things to be worried about, but fortunately they also showed some really good things. Here’s to hoping they rebound against the Carolina Panthers on the short week.