So close. So, so close.
The New Orleans Saints lost their third straight game to start the season 1-3 after falling to the Vikings 28-25. New Orleans looked more efficient offensively and the defense was as stout as ever. However, the defense is staying on the field too long which is letting the opposition score more points late.
Let’s look at the key takeaways:
Andy Dalton is ready to lead this offense
Dalton had a good game Sunday, making smart decisions and putting the offense is positions to score. It became even more obvious watching Andy play just how injured and bothered by injuries Jameis is. Now, Jameis Winston hasn’t practiced yet this week and his status for Sunday’s game against the Seahawks is in question.
Dalton might be on the backside of his career, but he showed Sunday in London that he knows the offense well enough to string some wins together until Jameis is healthy and ready to return.
Marshon Lattimore struggles against speedy receivers
Marshon always has great games against Mike Evans, Julio Jones, and other big bodies, but the second it’s a receiver with speed and agility, he struggles. That was proven Sunday against Justin Jefferson, who torched him for 10 catches and 147 yards.
It’s no question that Lattimore is an above average corner in the league, but I think the biggest thing keeping him from being one of the top corners is his inability to keep up with faster receivers. Time will tell if that trend continues, but it’s an issue to keep an eye on.
Wil Lutz is one of the best kickers around
Lutz has always been a top kicker and a weapon for the Saints, but he missed all of 2021 with a core injury and has struggled to find a rhythm so far in 2022. However, on Sunday, Lutz made two big plays to keep the Saints around. He made a 60-yard field goal with less than 2 minutes left to tie the game. Then, as time expired, he hit a 61-yard field goal so beautifully, but it double-doinked off the upright and crossbar before falling to the turf.
Sure, it was frustrating to watch, but in hindsight, we all know that had it gone a foot to the left, it would’ve gone in. So, Lutz did a great job of trying to keep the Saints in the game and will continue to be a threat and weapon for the Black and Gold going forward.