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The good, the bad, and the ugly from the Saints’ loss to the Rams

New Orleans loss on TNF greatly damages playoff chances.

New Orleans Saints v Los Angeles Rams Photo by Ryan Kang/Getty Images

The Good: Resiliency

In a game that the New Orleans Saints did not do much right at least it can be said that they did not quit. After middling around for most of the game, the Saints two best drives of the night were the last two in which they scored 15 points to make it a one score game. You could reason that this was simply the Los Angeles Rams playing prevent defense, but the Saints still managed to make it a one score game with around 4 minutes left. The Rams were able to bleed the clock down to 0, but the Saints did not lose their pride despite trailing by three scores nearly the entire game and based on how the season has gone as a whole. There is a reason why the Saints have a +34-point spread despite being 7-8, by far the most among teams with a losing record.

New Orleans Saints v Los Angeles Rams Photo by Ryan Kang/Getty Images

The Bad: Run game

The Saints again failed to establish the run, rushing for just 35 yards on 16 attempts without a single run of over 5 yards. The Rams’ run defense is middle of the pack, allowing 110.8 rushing yards per game prior to Thursday night. The Saints did trail most of the game, but an inability to establish a consistent ground attack is partially what led them to fall behind so quickly.

The Ugly: 3rd and 4th downs

Going into the 4th quarter, the Saints were a dismal 2/11 on 3rd and 4th downs in this game. They turned the ball over on down more times than they punted, each time in Rams territory. The Rams followed each turnover on downs with points on drives that had to go fewer than 60 yards. Each 4th down attempt was of 4th and 5 or more as well. The Saints should have trusted the defense more and punted, or at least attempted a field goal rather than risking giving the Rams a short field, short fields that LA capitalized on each time.

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