The New Orleans Saints (3-7) continued their injury-riddled season into Week 10 against the Pittsburgh Steelers (3-6). New Orleans failed to gain any offensive momentum behind a makeshift offensive line in the loss. The defense came up with timely sacks and third-down stops but was ultimately gashed on the ground surrendering 217 yards.
The loss moves the Saints into last place in the NFC South. With their backs against the wall, how will New Orleans respond? And will there be any significant changes made before Week 11?
Let's dive inside the numbers of the Saints' Week 10 loss in Pittsburgh.
10: Saints Commit a Season-High 10 Penalties
The New Orleans Saints' uncharacteristic lack of discipline has them sitting at a 3-7 record halfway through the season. Against the Steelers, the Saints committed a season-high ten penalties for 74 yards.
Towards the end of the first half, New Orleans had more penalty yards than offensive yards. Anyone could point towards the injuries, youth, or lack of chemistry as an excuse, but it is time to face the music if you are a Saints fan. "We [The Saints] are not a very good football team right now," safety Tyrann Mathieu said.
Being a successful football team is hard when you are constantly shooting yourself in the foot. Sunday marked the second time the Saints had committed at least ten penalties this season.
11: Alvin Kamara Tallied Just 11 Total Touches
Since Week 4, when Andy Dalton was inserted into the starting lineup in place of the injured Jameis Winston, the Saints' offense averaged 30 points per game. However, the New Orleans offense has been mediocre for the past two weeks at best. Over the past two weeks, one common theme is the inability to get their best weapon involved in the offensive game plan.
Alvin Kamara touched the ball 11 times against the Steelers and 12 times a week prior against the Ravens. Without Kamara being a focal point of the offense, New Orleans has found little to no consistency in maintaining drives.
New Orleans is averaging 11.5 points per game over the past two weeks and is struggling to do anything productive on offense. Ultimately, for New Orleans to succeed, the play-calling needs to change. Kamara must become more involved in the offense, or the Saints' season will quickly see the final nail in the coffin.
18: New Orleans' Longest Play From Scrimmage Was 18 Yards
An explosive offensive play is defined as a play that exceeds 20 or more yards. New Orleans had no explosive plays against the Steelers. Their longest offensive play was an 18-yard pass from Andy Dalton to Adam Trautman in the first quarter of the ball game.
New Orleans' offensive explosiveness has been non-existent over the past two weeks. Even on the Saints' most effective drive against the Steelers, there was no standout big play before Juwan Johnson's 15-yard touchdown. The vanilla play-calling and lack of creativity have become evident.
Though injury-riddled, the Saints still possess multiple big-play offensive weapons. However, those weapons were not utilized well enough on Sunday and have not been in recent weeks.