1. More of the same
The issues that have plagued the New Orleans Saints through the first 6 weeks showed themselves yet again on Sunday. The offense struggled and was unable to finish drives despite the defense giving them multiple opportunities to tie the game late. It seems like the Saints have settled into what they are going to be this season, a team whose defense will keep them in every game but who’s offense will keep them from winning many of them. The Saints are averaging 18 points per game this year and are 2-0 when exceeding that total and 1-3 when scoring under it. The talent is there, but it must be used effectively.
2. Special teams not so special
Despite the struggles of the offense, the Saints would have likely won this game had they converted all their field goals. Blake Grupe missed a 52-yarder in the first quarter, hardly a gimme but certainly within Grupe’s range as this was the first 50+ yard field goal he had missed this year after three such attempts prior. The one that is almost inexcusable is missing a 29-yarder with 11:10 left in the 4th quarter. If Grupe makes that one, then two field goals on the Saints’ next two drives would have won the game. Instead, because of the miss they were forced to go for the endzone on each of their final drives, leading to a turnover on downs and an interception. Grupe has been pretty good this year, as he had only missed one field goal prior to Sunday, so hopefully this game does not wreck his confidence and he is able to get back on track Thursday night.
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