It looked like the New Orleans Saints had gotten that bad taste out of their mouth with their big win in Foxborough last week, but it turns out the New England Patriots might have just been that poor of a team.
On Sunday, the Saints put on another abysmal performance against the Houston Texans falling to the young team 20-13, handing the Saints their third loss of the season.
Offensively, the Saints seemed to function much better than they did in previous weeks early on in the game but didn’t possess the ball very long for them to do much. However, as the game went on, the team seemed to revert back to their struggles. The team had some good drives during the game but their struggles in the red zone were put on full display today. They were 0/3 in the red zone, being unable to score and while also missing a chip shot field goal from 29 yards out. The offensive line became even more of an issue later in the game as Ryan Ramczyk and James Hurst both left the game due to injuries. The team literally could not cleanly run a passing play at any time the Texans brought some pressure. The play calling progressively got worse as the game went on and was felt in the most critical moments of the game. One being a fourth down checkdown to RB Alvin Kamara in the red zone that gave the Texans the ball back late in the 4th quarter. It’s been alarming to see how a team with this amount of talent can’t seem to figure it out. I would hope the team looks to make some changes in terms of the play caller because the frustration level is through the roof at the moment.
#Saints are 0-3 in the red zone and 5 of 13 on 3rd down. Bad day on offense.— Brooke Kirchhofer (@brookechesney) October 15, 2023
Defensively, it felt like the opposite in this game. The defense got off to a very slow start in the first half allowing the Texans to break free in man coverage on multiple occasions and run the ball at will, giving up 17 points in that period. They then settled in a little bit getting some pressure on the QB and finding some more consistency against the run. One of the plays that the team would’ve loved to have back was the interception that was then fumbled by LB Zack Baun. Had Baun not fumbled the Saints would have retained possession not allowing the Texans a scoring opportunity.
WILD SEQUENCE IN SAINTS-TEXANS— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPoints) October 15, 2023
CJ Stroud throws the first INT of his career just before Zack Baun fumbles it right back to the Texans pic.twitter.com/6rZMosyWuW
Special teams though, contributed to this loss mightily and could be put under a microscope this week. Rookie K Blake Grupe missed two big field goals in this game, one from 52 yards out and the other a 29-yard chip shot. Never a good thing leaving points on the field even when the offense can’t score. In a one touchdown game, these kicks could make a real difference.
Blake Grupe shanks the short field goal attempt and the Texans maintain their 7-point advantage. Tough day so far for the rookie kicker.— Jeff Duncan (@JeffDuncan_) October 15, 2023
It’s really hard to watch this team continue to underperform with this much talent on the roster. There are glimpses of what they can do but it is never sustained. The team sits at 3-3 which isn’t the end of the world but if changes need to be made on the coaching staff, they need to be made now.
Carr - 32/50, 353 yards 1 TD
Kamara - 19 rushes for 68 yards, 7 catches for 36 yards
Chris Olave - 7 catches for 96 yards
Demario Davis - 7 tackles, 1 sack & 2 TFLs
Carl Granderson - 6 tackles, 1 sack & 2 TFLs
Zack Baun - 5 tackles, 1 interception
Blake Grupe - 2/4 on FGs with a long of 48, 1/1 on XPs
Lou Hedley - 3 for 126, long of 42