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What We Learned: Alvin Kamara a shoo-in for OROY, but rest of Saints offense lethargic against Rams

Can’t really blame the defense for the loss, as the offense outside of a few Kamara runs never really found their rhythm

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Los Angeles Rams Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Typically the recap articles/columns are done the night after the game and maybe the following Monday. By the time Tuesday gets in, you are already looking at the next team up, which is about right because players/teams typically move on to their next opponent on Tuesday following a Sunday game.

So obviously my opinions come a little late, but I also try to give insight that is hard to get immediately following the game.

After I let things marinate a little bit, I feel as though the Saints are a very good team and the loss to the Rams proves it.

You see, the Saints did about 6,400 7/11 things wrong in that game and STILL were within 6 points at the end of regulation in an AWAY game.

  1. 0 Total return yards vs 169 Total return yards for Rams - That’s hidden Yardage.
  2. 3 of 13 on 3rd downs. A lot of those were 3rd and shorts, an issue that crept back up.
  3. 7 Penalties for 112 yards. - That’s an entire football field.
  4. Mark Ingram had 11 carries for 31 yards - No, the Saints didn’t abandon the run - they completely ignored the 9 men in the box on every Ingram carry and failed to adjust.
  5. At Half - Saints had only run about 22 plays. Sean Payton scripts about 10-15 plays per game, and he usually gets done with those in the first two drives at most.
  6. They lost TOP margin by nearly 11 minutes 24:34 vs. 35:26 - Meaning the Saints failed to protect a defense that was already thin after multiple injuries the previous week.
  7. Drew Brees had an off game, and my opinion tells me it was all over the threat of Aaron Donald. He appeared to feel him even when he wasn’t there sometimes. That’s the level of respect he commands, and also shows interior pressure is the best way to rattle Brees.

Despite all of the above (and maybe i exaggerated a bit on the number), the Saints were an onside kick recovery away from possibly scoring and winning and people think the Saints are going to limp into the playoffs? People think the Rams are really a better team? That’s hilarious. In fact, I actually let off a minute chuckle while typing that.

Even funnier were the people clamoring for the heads of defensive players when it was the offense that dropped the ball this game. Asking for guys like Al-Quadin Muhammad to get snaps like he would have stopped Brees from missing a wide open Ted Ginn Jr. on a broken coverage.

I mean, let’s be honest. If De’Vante Harris would have been taken out of the game earlier, Payton would have definitely gone for a TD instead of a field goal down by 2 scores, and if Alex Okafor plays Sunday, Brees doesn’t skip a ball off the turf on another missed throw to Ginn.

Yep, all those terrible defensive players are why the offense never appeared to have a rhythm.

Is there a sarcasm button around?

It’s really simple. The team didn’t execute well enough to win against a good team on the road. They made too many mistakes, and plenty of us (Sean Payton included) pointed out last week vs. Washington that they would NOT be able to afford the same gaffes on the road and expect to win.

The Rams game was exactly what it looks like when a team doesn’t give itself a chance to win and doesn’t correct the previous week’s errors that nearly resulted in a loss.

Miscellaneous Notes

  • Saints didn’t abandon the run. If I see another person make that statement, my cranium is going to explode into a million little craniums.
  • Dennis Allen plays with 5 and 6 DBs on the regular. If the talent in the secondary isn’t good, the entire defense as well as his philosophy breaks. Missing Okafor wasn’t the problem, missing our two top CBs was.
  • Did you notice we showed blitz a lot but didn’t blitz? Well, if you can’t bring pressure because you don’t trust the coverage, then you give the illusion of bringing pressure and hope that extra second gives the D-line a chance to get home.
  • Why didn’t Payton use Alvin Kamara much instead of Ingram? Well, that goes back to a lot of Kamara’s yards coming against 6-man boxes (team expecting pass). If Payton would have made Kamara the primary ball carrier, they would have started to stack the box against him too resulting in the exact same issue. Heck, one of his big gains (possibly the TD) came on a simple 5-man box, and he gashed it cleanly.
  • Kenny Vaccaro did his best Delvin Breaux impersonation.vs. Cooper Kupp.

The Saints have Carolina coming up, and a division matchup means details are paramount. These won’t be unfamiliar teams or an opportunity for the a team to be out-coached. This will be a game where the teams know each other well, and it will be the playmakers that make the difference. A lot of the Saints playmakers were nowhere to be found or injured against the Rams. Hopefully, they can get a few guys back and the defense can get back to carrying the offense because It’s become pretty clear when totally healthy the best overall unit is the defense because 11 weeks in the offense is still out of sorts. Who Dat!