The Good: The offense’s ability to move the ball
The Saints gained nearly 400 yards despite missing their top 3 WRs and starting QB. The Saints only went three-and-out twice, and six of their ten drives ended in points. The Saints also did not have a turnover and only gave up one sack. This is encouraging despite the loss, and if they can work on finishing drives with a touchdown once they reach the redzone the offense may be finally ready to step it up.
The Bad: The offense’s inability to finish drives
Not much is worse than have a 10+ play drive end in a short field goal. The Saints did this three times on Sunday. Wil Lutz kicked four field goals against the Bengals, the longest of which was 37 yards. The offense simply was unable to punch it into the end zone this week, and if they were able to convert just one of these short field goals into a touchdown the game would have been tied. The Saints need to rely on players like Taysom Hill and Alvin Kamara more to simply pound the ball towards the goal line. Sometimes simply pounding the ball up the middle is the best redzone offense you can have.
The Ugly: Big plays at bad times... again
Last week, the Saints gave up three long touchdowns while still managing to pull out a win against Seattle. This week however, a 60-yard touchdown to Ja’Marr Chase proved to be the costliest play of the game. The Saints had a chance to stop the Bengals or at least hold them to a field goal which could have made it just a one point game, but instead, the Saints failed to tackle Chase as he ran to the endzone on the go ahead touchdown. The Saints defense needs to fix their issues with tackling and staying disciplined in coverage because giving up long touchdowns like this cannot continue.
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