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3 Takeaways From the Saints Week 10 Loss to the Titans

Three Takeaways from the New Orleans Saints' Week 10 Loss to the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium.

The New Orleans Saints (5-4) saw their comeback efforts fall short for the second consecutive week, this time at the hands of the AFC South's top team, the Tennessee Titans (8-2). Sean Payton's side started slow for yet another week offensively, committing early penalties, allowing sacks, and putting the team in third and long early and often.

Despite a strong second-half showing, New Orleans could not overcome their self-inflicted wounds and suffered their second straight loss.  

Below is three takeaways from the Saints defeat to the AFC's top team through 10 Weeks.

New Orleans' Prodigal Son Earned the All-Time Rushing Record

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Not many players are as beloved by Who Dat Nation as Mark Ingram II, making his return to the Crescent City special. The former Heisman Trophy winner referenced his special connection to the fan base in his first week back, saying, "I mean Who Dat nation is a special fan base, the culture of New Orleans, the culture of the Saints like it is just special all-around man. Just to have the support, love from the city from all the Saints fans, all of Who Dat nation that is special for me,"

New Orleans' "Prodigal Son" welcomed even more celebration this week, passing Deuce McAllister as the franchise's all-time leading rusher. Ingram called the record "a blessing" and admitted to admiring Deuce McAllister as a child. And while every record "is meant to be broken," and one day Ingram's will, it is rare to find a player more deserving of the record.

Ingram battled adversity throughout his Saints career, even finding himself in multiple trade rumors in the mid-2010s. However, Ingram evolved his game, became a complete back, and carried the football like his last. Much like the city itself, Ingram battled, fought, and never strayed from being himself... and in that found success.

Cannot Blame Trevor Siemian for the Saints' Back-to-Back Losses

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On Sunday afternoon, Trevor Siemian tossed for nearly 300 yards and two touchdowns in his second career start for the New Orleans Saints. The Northwestern product proved to be a quarterback to lead a team to victory, but New Orleans did not do their quarterback any favors.

Much like last week against Atlanta, New Orleans' offense could not find a grove until late, and it played out like the same script. Siemian led the team on a second-half comeback, scoring a touchdown late in the ball game to ultimately fall short. 

New Orleans' offense is the NFL's top-scoring team in the fourth quarter this season but has been unable to finish the job. Whether it be from penalties, dropped passes, or mental lapses, the Saints have continued to find ways to beat themselves over the past two Sundays.

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New Orleans' offense is not the same that many became accustomed to with Drew Brees at the helm. They are struggling and are without key starters all over the field. And though Sean Payton refuses to make that excuse for the team, it is very noticeable how short-handed this team is. Trevor Siemian is not being asked to put up Brees like numbers, he is simply there to be a game manager, and he has done a pretty good job of it. Frankly, New Orleans can win games with him at the helm, and despite the results, the past two weeks have proved that.

Putting blame on the quarterback for drops, missed field goals, and more self-inflicted wounds is irrational. Siemian looks to be the quarterback for the rest of the season and has earned that right with his play.

Self-Inflicted Wounds Doom the Saints Again

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Even with many injuries to starters on both sides of the football, New Orleans has proven they are talented and well-coached enough to compete in the NFC this season, despite back-to-back losses. However, some may argue it was not the Falcons or Titans that defeated the Saints in Weeks 9 & 10, but the Saints defeated themselves.

On Sunday against Tennessee, the Black and Gold committed nine penalties for 65 yards, fumbled on the second half's opening kickoff, and missed multiple extra points. Following the "disappointing loss," Sean Payton was asked how the team would clean up the self-inflicted wounds.

"Man, it's the attention to detail, obviously. We look at it as coaches, too. Start with me. Pretty soon we start looking at who's doing it. You know, we start evaluating who's making plays and who's not. And it just is what it is. It's our league."

- Sean Payton on cleaning up the self-inflicted wounds

From the sound of it, expect Payton to make a few personnel changes before the Saints match-up with the Eagles. However, as I said above, Siemian should remain the starter for the New Orleans Saints moving forward.


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