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Armchair Quarterback: Saints vs Bucs

When you kick three field goals in the red zone, you will lose the game.

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Hello, darkness, my old friend.

The Saints had a strong game for three and a half quarters but couldn’t finish the job as they fell to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 17-16 on a last-second touchdown pass from Tom Brady.

Now, I use the term “strong game” lightly.

The Saints were able to move the ball well all game long but had three drives stall in the red zone and forced Wil Lutz to put points on the board for the Black & Gold.

Let’s look at the glaring issues from this game:

NFL: New Orleans Saints at San Francisco 49ers Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Coaching decisions have been infuriating

Some of the decisions this coaching staff has made really put the Saints behind the 8-ball.

From leaving Andy Dalton in all this time to some of the play-calling, New Orleans is struggling to get out of its own way.

I’m not typically a fan of coaching changes after their first year, but this franchise will continue to regress under the current regime. Dennis Allen is just not fit to be an NFL head coach, which is okay. Neither was Nick Saban.

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Rookie mistakes by veterans are crucial

I’m not going to place the blame of the loss solely on Mark Ingram, but that one extra yard could have very well been the difference.

Since the game, we’ve learned that Ingram has an MCL tear and is likely done not only for the season but with the New Orleans Saints. At 32 years old, it’s hard to reason why the Saints would bring 22 back.

Anyways, the lack of focus and execution we’ve seen from the team in 2022 has been concerning, to say the least.

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

You can’t give the Comeback Kid time

Up 16-3 with less than four minutes remaining, Brady and the Bucs get a touchdown to draw it to a one-possession game. Now, the Saints have the ball back still in control of the clock and game.

What should've happened here is you run the ball and force them to either use their timeouts or drain two minutes off the clock.

What actually happened is that you threw the ball three consecutive plays, only taking 31 seconds off the clock, and gave it right back to the quarterback with the most fourth-quarter comebacks in NFL history.

This is going back to the coaching issues with decision-making, but this one had to be the most frustrating to witness.

With the win, the Saints would’ve been fully back in the playoff conversation. Now, you might as well pack up the golf clubs and get them ready for January.

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