The Good: Defense
The defense once again dominated, shutting out the New England Patriots for only the second time at home in the last 30 years. Tyrann Mathieu got the game started by taking an interception back for a touchdown, and they did not let up from there. They held New England to just 156 yards of offense and forced eight punts. The Patriots offense was not that impressive heading into this game, but anytime you can shutout an opponent in the NFL it’s something to be very happy about.
The Bad: Lack of involvement of Chris Olave
Chris Olave is the Saints best player on offense, but over the last two games he has only caught three passes for 16 yards. He did catch his first touchdown of the year on Sunday, but his lack of involvement in the offense that last two weeks is disconcerting. Pete Carmichael needs to get him involved otherwise the New Orleans Saints offense will be worse for ware. Sunday’s offensive performance was an outlier based on their performances the last 10-15 games, and if they don’t want to regress to the mean they need to make Olave the focal point of the offense again.
The Ugly: Poorly timed sacks allowed
Darek Carr was once again sacked twice on third down against the Pats, a trend that has been going on all season. The Saints offensive line was decent against New England, but one game should not mean all the issues we saw with the offensive line and offense as a whole are now magically gone, and the OL once again gave up two drive killing sacks this week. A 34-0 win is good, but being 4-1 would be much better. The Saints have two upcoming games against AFC South opponents in Houston and Jacksonville. They need to build on this dominant performance and win both games if they want to keep pace in the NFC South, but if the offensive line can’t improve they may find themselves trying to catch up to the Bucs or Falcons pretty soon.
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