It was an uninspiring performance Monday Night for the New Orleans Saints practice squad. This is mostly in jest, but the Saints went into this game down 24 players and several coaches due to the virus list. This game should have been delayed since other teams with similar issues were delayed in Week 15. Sadly, this was not the case. The Saints had to play with several new players but still managed to look respectable. According to the Monday Night Football broadcast, no team has started more players than the Saints this year. Some of that could have been alleviated, if the NFL wished though. This fact and more are here in the overreactions to the Saints Week 16 game against the Miami Dolphins.
Any other quarterback and the Saints win
The Dolphins did what they had to do against a rookie quarterback. They are fighting for the playoffs as well so there was no room to take it easy. If this had been Taysom Hill or even Trevor Siemian, then this game would have had a different outcome. Marquez Callaway and Lil’ Jordan Humphrey stepped up and looked to be open on nearly every play. This was somewhat due to how the Dolphins were defending but give the receivers credit for playing well. Ian Book was rushed over and over in various ways by this Dolphins defense. The receivers were mostly playing man-on-man and winning their matchups.
Ian Book, in his defense, should not have been thrust in this game like he was. Even though he threw two interceptions, he was running for his life behind a Saints offensive line that was down to their fifth option at tackle. Taysom Hill’s ability to rush would have likely negated some of the issues that the Saints offense had this game. Book completed 60% of his passes on the game as well. If either Hill or Siemian had done this, without the mistakes, then the Saints probably would have won this game.
Can the Saints win out and make the playoffs?
This poll is closed
If they have all their players available, yes!
No. Even with Taysom Hill the offense sucks!
Why make the playoffs if it’s just to go one-and-out?
No burgers for this offense, that was a putrid display.
The defense is going to dominate the last two games
The defense held the Dolphins to just 13 offensive points in the entire game. This was with missing several starters, depth players, and having an offense that could not stay on the field. The Saints should get over 20 players back off the virus list in the next few days. Even without these players, the Saints were able to hold every Dolphins rusher to under 40 yards on the ground. Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa managed just 198 yards on the game including a touchdown and interception. This game goes in the win column for the Dolphins, but they should not feel good about their effort against many players who have not started this year suddenly being thrown into action. The Saints last two games should come with the team at full strength, a bad sign for opposing offenses.
The NFL is the Saints biggest rival
As if this was not clear in past years, the NFL does not respect the Saints organization. This likely goes back years to when the team almost moved out of New Orleans entirely. The animosity for the small-market team, with an outspoken head coach and one that keeps winning, has been seen and felt the last decade. This week, another two instances of his rivalry were seen. The first was when this game was played at all. If any other team, including the Dolphins, had nearly half their gameday roster on the virus list, this game would have been delayed. Both the Washington Football Team and Los Angeles Rams had 26 players on the list, some of which were activated before the game, but still had their games delayed. Meanwhile, the Saints had 24 players on the virus list with none being activated for the game. This not only endangers the players but also shows a complete bias against the handling of teams. Big market teams that the NFL wants to win or promote have been shown favorability, and it continued the past two weeks.
In the game itself this week, the referees and NFL blatantly shrugged their shoulders when they were caught helping the Dolphins. Late in the second quarter, the Dolphins took a timeout because they believed they needed to save time on the clock after a review. The referees took time to talk to the Dolphins sideline, explain to them that they should not take it, and actually gave the timeout back. It is unclear when this was okayed, but apparently, NFL referees can help coaches with game management. It is just convenient that this happened against the Saints. Just like every other convenience that always seems to go against the Saints has happened recently.
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