The New Orleans Saints fell to the dreaded 0-2 start after losing another heartbreaker to the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on Sunday. The Giants were able to win 16-13 on a last-second Josh Brown field goal. Here’s a few takes from the loss.
P.J. Williams is okay
It was a very scary play, as cornerback P.J. Williams had two blows to the head that knocked him unconscious for some time. The cart was immediately called for following the play, as the crowd fell very silent. The worst was feared, as Williams did not move. It appeared that it was a bad neck injury, but we got an official word that the former Florida State cornerback was being treated for a concussion and was moving his fingers and toes.
Williams had a CT scan on his spine, and the Saints were hopeful for him to make the flight home. Head coach Sean Payton also said in his post game press conference that he was encouraged that Williams was okay.
Coby Fleener and Drew Brees aren’t even remotely on the same page
Fleener was targeted eight times on Sunday, and only came away with two receptions for 29 yards. Whether it was a result of miscommunication, drops, or a no-call of pass interference, there’s clearly some issues between Brees and Fleener. This isn’t a good sign for the Saints offense, and through two games it looks like the team’s front office whiffed again on a promising free agent find.
Thomas Morstead is so important
A punter doesn’t get much respect in today’s NFL, but the Saints don’t just have a punter. Morstead was called upon seven times on Sunday, which is very uncharacteristic. It was just the sixth time in his career in which he had seven or more punts, but Morstead averaged 54.8 yards per punt with a net average of 44.9 yards. While very underrated, Morstead helped the Saints defense a lot.
The Saints defense came to play
Sure, Dennis Allen’s defense may have surrendered 417 total yards to the Giants, but how about the fact that they held them out the end zone? That’s not an easy task, and when’s the last time you could safely say a Saints defense (especially in the Sean Payton era) held a team without a touchdown and lost? Hats off to Kenny Vaccaro and several others for having a strong game, as the Saints had many tackles for losses, three forced fumbles and had two sacks.
The injury bug is becoming an epidemic
It wasn’t just P.J. Williams who got hurt against the Giants, as Kenny Vaccaro (ankle), Paul Kruger (unknown), Zach Strief (chest), Willie Snead (unknown) were just some of the Saints to go down during the game. Kruger, Vaccaro, and Snead were able to return, and I get that it’s a ‘next man up’ mentality, but this is a team that’s been quickly depleted by injury.
It just makes you wonder what things could have been for a team that’s lost Kyle Wilson, Hau’oli Kikaha, Keenan Lewis, Sheldon Rankins, Delvin Breaux, Dannell Ellerbe, and Damian Swann throughout the course of the year.
Players have to finish
Ken Crawley, Travaris Cadet, and Brandon Coleman are some of the players that come to mind who had key moments in Sunday’s loss to the Giants. Crawley, as you can see from the featured image of the post, was inches away from that deep pass to Victor Cruz. Cadet had a crucial drop where he arguably would have been able to beat out linebacker Jonathan Casillas to extend a Saints drive, and Coleman was two ‘almost catches’ away from being a hero. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen and the Saints ended up losing.
This team must win their next two games, no ifs, ands, or buts
The Saints face an early Week 5 bye, and they must put together wins against the Atlanta Falcons (Monday Night Football), and San Diego Chargers (Week 4). The odds are against Payton’s squad at 0-2, as only 12 percent (26-of-214) of NFL teams have cracked the playoffs since 1990. By no means is the Saints season over, but it’s been quite some time since we’ve seen a victory, and counting the preseason this team hasn’t won in 2016.