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The good, the bad, and the ugly from the Saints loss to the Steelers

Saints offense struggles again as they fall in Pittsburgh.

New Orleans Saints v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

The Good: Blake Gillikin

The New Orleans Saints punter had his best game of the season Sunday, as his 5 punts for 259 yards netted a 51.8 average which was his best since Week 1. Gillikin had been somewhat of a disappointment this year after his great rookie season, but this week he punted the ball very well. The highlight was a 58-yard punt that went out of bounds at the Pittsburgh Steelers 2-yard line in a tie game late in the fourth quarter. Unfortunately, the Saints defense allowed an 83-yard drive that ended in a Steeler field goal which broke the tie for good, but Gillikin’s strong day on special teams is a good sign that the second-year punter is returning to form.

New Orleans Saints v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

The Bad: Ground game

The Saints ran the ball just 15 times for 29 yards on Sunday, their lowest total of the season. The game was not out of hand either as it was a tie game with 5 minutes left in the third quarter, so the Saints had no reason to abandon the run. Andy Dalton was struggling, and the Steelers are middle of the road in rush defense as the rank 16th in the NFL giving up an average of 117 yards on the ground. Alvin Kamara only getting 8 carries in a game this close, against an average rush defense is inexcusable from this coaching staff.

The Ugly: Passing offense

Andy Dalton struggled once again, as he cannot shake his woes against his former division in the AFC North. Dalton completed 17 of 27 passes for just 174 yards and 2 INT’s. Dalton threw these two interceptions in the fourth quarter, on drives that the Saints desperately needed points on. The Saints offense has struggled the last two games with Dalton under center, and now that it seems Jameis Winston may be healthy again, the Saints may look to make a change at QB.

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