The Good: Chris Olave and Alontae Taylor
At least these guys showed up to play on Sunday. Chris Olave had yet another great afternoon as he made multiple circus catches against the Packers, including many that helped sustain drives on third down. Olave finished with 8 catches for 104 yards, the best of which was a one-handed catch down the sideline to set the Saints up with a first and goal. It’s time to start talking about Olave in the upper tier of WRs in the NFL.
Alontae Taylor was called upon to start in place of the injured Paulson Adebo and boy did he answer the call. Taylor had multiple pass breakups and was blanketing receivers all day, and even contributed 5 solo tackles including one sack and two tackles for loss. Taylor stepped up much like he did last year, and he easily deserves to be a bigger part of the defense going forward.
The Bad: Losing Derek Carr
Derek Carr exited the game in the 3rd quarter after taking a hard sack and falling straight on his throwing shoulder. Carr was unable to brace himself and landed hard on his head and shoulder and was unable to return. Good signs are that he was not immediately declared out and was able to fly home with the team, but worst-case scenario is he misses up to a month and we won’t see him until mid-November. Hopefully it isn’t that serious, and he is able to return after a week or two, but until then the offense will be hampered even further, even with Alvin Kamara coming back.
The Ugly: Literally everything else
The offensive line was ugly, the run game was ugly, the play calling was ugly, the defense in the fourth quarter was ugly, the offense with Jameis Winston was ugly, and frankly the offense with Carr in the game was also ugly. The Saints managed just 10 points on offense and failed yet again to convert a first and goal into a touchdown, a touchdown that would have put them up 21-0 which would have been enough to win this game. Blowing a 17-point 4th quarter lead in 11 minutes is Falcons level choking, and the offense was unable to score or at the very least keep the ball for long enough to burn the clock and give the defense a rest in the 4th quarter. The defense once again was stout, but they were on the field for a majority of the 4th quarter and finally got gassed out. The New Orleans Saints defense has held 11 straight opponents to under 20 points, but in that stretch the team is 6-5. That is unacceptable futility by the offense.
The offensive line was awful yet again, as Carr and Winston were under pressure all afternoon. Carr was sacked three times on third down, the last of which caused him to leave with an injury. The line couldn’t open any significant holes in the run game either, and now Cesar Ruiz is in the concussion protocol. Offensive line coach Doug Marrone needs to do a better job otherwise he might be shown the door, and the players need to do a better job of protecting the QB otherwise Jake Haener may be the one to finish the season at QB for the Saints. A full week of prep for Jameis and Kamara’s return needs to result in a better offensive performance against the Bucs next week, otherwise the Saints will be in real trouble.
Make sure you follow Canal Street Chronicles on Twitter at @SaintsCSC, “Like” us on Facebook at Canal Street Chronicles, follow us on Instagram at @SaintsCSC, and make sure you’re subscribed to our new YouTube channel. As always, you can follow me on Twitter at @HaydenReel.