The New Orleans Saints failed to keep the unbeaten party going as the Green Bay Packers scored 18 unanswered points in the fourth quarter and stole the win. The Saints had a dominant first half filled with impressive performances, but the second half, one without Derek Carr, was a different story.
Here are three stats that could be difference-makers heading into the Saints’ week three matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
What does this mean: Second-half points scored by Jameis Winston and the Saints
Why should I care:
The Saints dodged a bullet with Derek Carr’s injury not being season-ending. However, the team is going to rely on Jameis Winston for the unforeseen future, and Pete Carmichael seemed incapable of running an offense with him at the helm. We have seen some great highs and befuddling lows during Winston’s New Orleans tenure, and we need a few highs to remain atop the NFC South. Plenty of the second-half collapse was largely due to offensive line difficulties, a common theme so far. With improved offensive line play, creative play calling, and decent quarterback play, the Saints will be just fine. Without it, the Saints could drop their second straight game.
Kenny Clark registered the Packers’ quickest sack of the season so far.— Daire Carragher (@DaireCarragher) September 25, 2023
2.61 seconds from snap to sack. pic.twitter.com/TcnRvUjkrN
What does this mean: The percentage of drop backs where the Saints pressured Jordan Love
Why should I care:
Until the final quarter, the Saints’ defense had another fantastic showing. The fourth quarter is a different story, but for the eleventh consecutive time, the Saints’ defense held their opponent to under 20 points. However, one missing element was the pass rush. Jordan Love was only sacked one time, and he was only pressured 22% of his drop backs. The Saints were able to pressure Ryan Tannehill 42.5% and Bryce Young 48.7% of the time. Without starting safety Marcus Maye and Paulson Adebo, Mayfield could continue his impressive run, but only if he is given time in the pocket. If the Saints can once again force pressure on a Tampa Bay quarterback, Baker Mayfield will have a long night. The Saints must force pressure and attack Mayfield all four quarters of the game.
What does this mean: Rush yards earned by Tampa Bay against the Philadelphia Eagles
Why should I care: Baker Mayfield and the Bucs failed to get the offense going against the Eagles. The run game was nonexistent for Tampa Bay as they only rushed for 41 yards the entire game with their highest rusher being Rachaad White with 38 yards. If the Bucs want to steal a game from New Orleans, they will need to have a balanced run and passing attack to open holes in the defense. Given the historical success that the Saints’ defensive backs have had against this team, establishing the run is a must for Todd Bowles and his Bucs.