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2 takeaways from the Saints’ loss to the Bengals

Saints drop 4 out of 5, and now are faced with an incredibly depleted roster.

Cincinnati Bengals v New Orleans Saints Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

1. This team needs Alvin Kamara to be great now more than ever

Kamara is the lone weapon left in this offense due to the injuries to the top 3 WRs. The New Orleans Saints have leaned on him heavily over the last two weeks and he has delivered, gaining over 300 all-purpose yards over the last two weeks. He will need to keep this up if the Saints have any hope of winning until they get healthy. With the quick turnaround to a Thursday night game against the Arizona Cardinals, it is doubtful that Michael Thomas and Jarvis Landry will be able to suit up, and Chris Olave’s status is also in question. This hurts because the Cardinals is a winnable game for a healthy Saints team, but without being at full strength the majority of the pressure falls on Kamara to deliver like the 5-time Pro Bowler he is.

Cincinnati Bengals v New Orleans Saints Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

2. The defense isn’t making enough plays

The Saints defense is still a solid group, but over the last few weeks they have looked much worse than they have in the past. Combine that with the fact that they have only intercepted one pass this year and this is definitely a unit headed in the wrong direction. Demario Davis is leading the team in sacks and is just one sack away from tying his season high, and no one on the defensive line other than Cameron Jordan has more than one sack through six games. The bend don’t break style works for a time, but at the end of the day you have to start breaking your opponent as well. The defense isn’t generating enough turnovers or causing enough negative plays to be sustainable through an entire game. Over the last three weeks the offense is scoring 30 points per game, which would be 1st in the NFL. The defense however is giving up the exact same amount at 30 points allowed per week over the same span. Despite the injuries on offense, the Saints would be 3-0 over the last three weeks if the defense held each opponent to 24 points in each game, which would rank them 22nd in the league. No offense can keep with a defense that allows 30 points per game, especially one as banged up as the Saints.

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