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Overreactions to Saints defensive dominance in win over Panthers

Overreactions to the Saints win in Week 17 against the Carolina Panthers

Carolina Panthers v New Orleans Saints
C.J. Gardner-Johnson made huge plays down the stretch to seal the win
Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

The New Orleans Saints avenged an early-season loss to the Carolina Panthers this week. The defense was dominant, and the offense did just enough to beat the Panthers 18-10. Cam Jordan and C.J. Gardner-Johnson led the Saints defense by making life difficult for Sam Darnold the entire game. Marquez Callaway’s emergence kept going as he had one of his best games, tallying 97 yards at receiver. This Saints team is within one win of making the playoffs. With the way the season has gone, that fact is hard to believe. This team is just vastly different on each side of the ball. The defense is dominant while the offense just barely musters points. It will be interesting to see how this team finishes the 2021 NFL regular season. These and other overreactions are here from the Saints dominance of the Panthers from Week 17 of the NFL regular season.

Saints defense is best in the league when healthy

The Saints defense dominated the Panthers this week. Sam Darnold and the Panthers offense only mustered 178 yards in the game. The Saints also caused two turnovers, including the game-sealing interception by C.J. Gardner-Johnson. Most importantly, the Saints defense was able to sack Sam Darnold seven times in the game. Cam Jordan was unblockable at times, tallying 3.5 sacks in the game. This was a far cry from the Saints and Panthers game earlier this season, where the Panthers caught the Saints with several injuries and virus issues. The Panthers did score an early touchdown, but afterward, they were shut out the rest of the game. This is the kind of defense that can be at the top of the NFL.

Poll

Who was the MVP of the Saints’ win over Carolina?

This poll is closed

  • 41%
    Cam Jordan, who is having a late season resurgence!
    (267 votes)
  • 41%
    The Saints’ defense overall, they’ve balled out!
    (265 votes)
  • 14%
    Dennis Allen, he has kept this team in contention.
    (91 votes)
  • 2%
    Marquez Callaway who saved the offense today
    (15 votes)
  • 0%
    The Big Mac is always the MVB (Most Valuable Burger)
    (4 votes)
642 votes total Vote Now

In the past four games, the Saints have allowed just two total touchdowns to opposing offenses. In this time frame, the Saints are allowing under 10 points per game as well. The Saints are 3-1 over this stretch. This week the Saints dominated while missing key personnel like Marcus Williams. P.J. Williams was also hampered much of the game, but it did not matter. The Saints defensive machine has kept going the past month, even with virus and injury issues. There is probably no defense playing better than the Saints right now. The offense sputters through games often, but this defense could be the NFL’s best.

Saints need to be in the quarterback market

As talented as Taysom Hill is, it does not appear he is suited to be the Saints quarterback going forward. He is dealing with a finger injury, but he has still yet to play good enough for the franchise to feel comfortable with this season winding down. These last few games, the Saints have been able to get a look at Taysom Hill’s ability under center. So far, the results have been underwhelming in Hill’s last three starts. Hill is completing passes at just a 53% rate. He also has four interceptions to just two touchdowns passing. Hill’s quarterback rating is also poor at just 62.6 in the last three. The rushing is anchoring the offense though as Hill is averaging 69 yards a game on the ground. This is likely not good enough for the Sean Payton offense, especially when the defense is as good as it is currently.

Detroit Lions v Seattle Seahawks
There is one name that keeps getting associated with the Saints this off-season
Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

It is likely that the Saints will need to be in the quarterback market in the next couple of weeks. There will be several experienced free agents available. The Saints could bring back Teddy Bridgewater or Jameis Winston. They could also go after untested players like Marcus Mariota. Depending on how the draft picks iron out also, the Saints could look in the middle of the first round for a quarterback. Trading future picks for current quarterbacks at the end of the contracts is also within reach. There could be several high-end names available when this season is over. Most likely, the Saints will be in the market for their future quarterback as soon as the NFL regular season ends.

The Super Dome deserves better next year

This was the last game in the Superdome for the 2021 NFL season. Overall, the Saints finished with just two wins in the entire season at home. This is just unacceptable for such a loyal fanbase and home-field advantage. A lot of this goes back to all of the situations the Saints have had to deal with this year. It seems as if this year was worse than any other when it comes to turmoil. Covid-19 outbreaks have ravaged the team at times. Injuries have been the worst they probably have ever been. Even so, the Saints have to do better at home next year. If this team is going to turn around, winning home games will be a great start. The fans and the players will need to do their part to make that happen.


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