Five numbers that will make you want to throw something at your computer screen after the Saints’ 27-25 loss against the Atlanta Falcons.
10 - That Was Sloppy.
How do you keep a team with a worse record, playing in your house, and featuring a bunch of no-name wide receivers in a game? You give them free yards. On Sunday in their 27-25 loss to the Atlanta Falcons, the Saints had 10 penalties for 74 yards, the second-most this season, after the 11 penalties that the team was whistled for on September 19 in a loss to the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte in week 2 of the season. But that is not all: We often focus only on the yardage of the penalties (for instance a 5-yard penalty for a false start, or a 10-yard penalty for holding), and forget the actual yardage gains nullified by said penalties. In the case of New Orleans on Sunday, the combined yardage loss was 51 yards, second-most of the season since a 27-21 home-loss to the New York Giants. In the end, one thing remains true in football as it is in many walks of life: while it is hard enough just to compete, it is nearly impossible to win if you beat yourself.
12-3 - Not Too Shabby
Since the 2019 NFL regular season, the Saints are 12-3 against NFC South teams. As we all know, New Orleans is the four-time NFC South defending champions, but it is one thing to win your division, it is another to dominate it the way the Saints have done in recent memory. In 2019, the Saints went 5-1 in the South, the one loss being a 26-9 setback against the Falcons in the Superdome. In 2020, New Orleans went 6-0 against the division. 2021 however has not started as well, with the Saints currently being 1-2 following their loss to the Falcons on Sunday. Three more games remain that will decide not only the fate of the division, but also the fate of New Orleans as far as the playoffs are concerned.
64 - Birds Dig the Long Ball - Part I
Sorry about this one, ladies and gents, but these are the facts of the game: the 64-yard pass from Matt Ryan to Cordarrelle Patterson with about a minute left in the game on Sunday against the Saints was Ryan’s longest pass of the 2021-22 regular season to date. His longest pass play to this point was a 49-yarder on October 24 against the Miami Dolphins. Want some bonus dagger to the heart? Ryan also averaged 11.43 yards per passing attempt against the Saints on Sunday, his highest average this season had been 8.40 yds/att, against the same sorry Dolphins. Not a good look for New Orleans’ vaunted defense.
49 - Birds Dig the Long Ball - Part II
I am certain that if you are a Saints fan and watched the game against the Falcons on Sunday, you are now familiar with the name Olamide Zaccheaus. Yes, that was one of those no-name wide receivers I was alluding to earlier in this article. After the game, Zaccheaus was not so much of a no-name wide receiver anymore: he caught all three balls thrown his way, including a 49-yard reception, which was, you guessed it, his longest reception of the season. What was his previous longest catch you may ask? 15 yards. It was not solely the offense that had a bad day at the office for the Saints on Sunday.
3 - Like the Phoenix, He Rises?
Don’t look now, but Saints’ defensive end Cam Jordan has now recorded a sack in 3 consecutive games. His sack of Matt Ryan on Sunday, interestingly, was also his third of the season putting him on pace for 6.4 sacks this year. While that is not statistically different from the 7.5 sacks he had in 2020, what is encouraging is the fact that Jordan already has 11 quarterback hits this season, on pace for 23.4 QB hits on the year. When you consider that he had 16 QB hits all last regular season, we might be seeing a much-welcomed resurgence of the 32-year-old defensive end.
Let’s finish with a fun poll that was inspired by a debate with other members of the CSC writing staff:
Saints need help at QB and WR. Which player would be your pick to join the team next year?
This poll is closed
Aaron Rodgers, QB
Odell Beckham Jr., WR
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