Five numbers that will make you squint after week two’s 26-7 loss against the Carolina Panthers
64 - Would Brady have fared better?
Jameis Winston looked abysmal on Sunday against the Carolina Panthers. The Saints’ quarterback completed 11 passes out of 22 attempts, for a measly 111 yards, no touchdowns and (gasp!) two interceptions. A little-known number that not many people will focus on his the fact that of his 28 dropbacks during the game, Winston was pressured 18 times. An unconscionable 64% pressure rate, which was also the highest of Winston’s entire NFL career. So while Jameis wasn’t great on Sunday, the offensive line did him exactly zero favors and should shoulder a big part of the blame for the Saints’ dismal offensive performance against the Panthers.
10 - All Good Things...
With the loss to Carolina on Sunday, the Saints saw a 10-game division games winning-streak snapped. New Orleans had not lost an NFC South game since a 26-9 defeat (cue the eerily familiar score) at the hands of the Atlanta Falcons on week 10 of the 2019 season. Following that game, New Orleans won its remaining four division games of the 2019 season, then swept the NFC South in the regular season in 2020-21. It had to end at some point. The Saints now have the opportunity to start another winning-streak in the division.
6 - Do Not Adjust Your Screen Settings
In the entire game against the
1985 Chicago Bears 2021 Carolina Panthers on Sunday, the New Orleans Saints had six first downs. You read that right: 6! Oh and one of them was via penalty, so on the field of play, the Saints had a whopping five first downs. The whole game! I’m not sure that I really need to add anything here.
0.6 - I Repeat, Do Not Adjust Your Screen Settings
Alvin Kamara is one of the best running backs in the NFL. On Sunday in Charlotte, the Saints’ back averaged 0.6 yards-per-rush. Eight rushing attempts, for 5 yards. Oh and on his longest run of the day (which was a whole 5 yards) he nonchalantly went out of bounds instead of fighting to go north and get the lone yard he was missing to get a first down. Talk about a bad day at the office all around for New Orleans on Sunday.
60 - Welcome to Gillikin Island
Alright, something positive to end this gloomy piece. Can you tell that I am falling in love with new Saints punter Blake Gillikin? Well, from the stink of the poop-fest that was the Saints’ play on Sunday at Carolina, emerged the very pleasant perfume of Blake Gillikin’s punting performance. The pinnacle of it came with 5:20 left in the first quarter, as the Saints had just recorded the first of their several three-and-outs. With the ball at New Orleans’ 16-yard line and Gillikin’s heels near his own one-yard line, the punter unleashed a booming 60-yard kick that made punt returner Alex Erickson retreat to his 24-yard line, before a short return to the Panthers’ 34-yard line. If you’re doing the math at home, from where Gillikin stood when he punted, the ball traveled about 75 yards in the air. A leg this strong means that punting is going to remain a weapon for the Saints for years to come. See, the sky is not falling yet.
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