Five important takeaways from the New Orleans Saints team performance in the first five games of 2021.
The notion that Jameis Winston is the primary problem for the "yo-yo" like performances from the New Orleans offense is not accurate.
- Jameis Winston has passed for 12 touchdowns, 3 interceptions, and a 108.1 passer rating. In comparison, Drew Brees' 2020 record was 3-2. He registered 9 touchdowns with 3 interceptions and a passer rating of 102.7.
- Jameis Winston leads the NFL with 8 passing TDs under pressure, according to PFF.
- Winston is throwing 2.4 Pass TD per game (career-high).
Sean Payton's genius is game planning and positioning the players to succeed in-game. Although, he confirmed the offense's erratic pace was on him as the coach. Remember he's getting comfortable with a new starting quarterback and understanding what makes him tick are being worked out.
Here are the questions after the bye week:
Would Coach Payton...
- Modify his offensive approach to become more aggressive downfield?
- Could he relinquish the play-calling duties and help manage the overall team aspects on the sidelines?
- Have a Tre'Quan Smith and Michael Thomas fulfilling their old roles or changing them to fit with Winston?
- Have more targets for Juwan Johnson, Adam Trautman?
The Good and Bad of the Saints Defense
- Before Week 6, the Saints, Broncos, Patriots, and Bills had the only defenses without allowing double-digit touchdowns, according to PFF.
- 1st in preventing red zone touchdowns at 35.7%. The NFL average is 61.8%.
- 3rd in allowing 79.0 yards/game. The NFL average is 112.7 yards/game.
- 3rd in defensive points allowed at 18.2 pts/game. The NFL average is 23.8 points/game.
- New Flash! Pete Werner is a good player.
- 15th in allowing 354 yards per game.
- 24th in allowing 275 passing yards per game.
- 30th in the NFL with 8 sacks. The NFL average is 13 sacks per team.
- Payton Turner: New Orleans' young edge rusher is strong, fast, and shifty while registering one sack, nine tackles, three TFL, five hurries, and three QB Hits.
- Pete Werner: The former Buckeye has played in 45% of the defensive snaps and 12% of the special teams' snaps. His 25 tackles (15 solo, ten assists) are fourth on the defensive unit behind Davis, Jenkins, and Adebo.
- Paulson Adebo: The Stanford product is third in tackles with 23 (20 solo, two assisted) and two passes defended.
Cam Jordan & Problems on the Edge
- The Saints are tied second to last in the NFL with the Texans, Jaguars, and Giants at eight sacks.
- Oddly enough, New Orleans is 3rd in quarterback hits/knockdowns at 36 behind Miami and Tampa Bay, but the sack totals are not being registered. Are the team's rushers are a tad behind? Did the secondary provide adequate coverage to get the rushers extra time to sack the quarterback? Is it technique?
- Dennis Allen's group recorded 55 pressures (tied at 6th with Dallas) and 55 blitzes (tied with Los Angeles Rams and Kansas City at 9th).
- Jordan has played on 82% of the defensive snaps versus 78% of the snaps in 2020.
- No sacks since Week 15 against Minnesota on Christmas Day.
- Could Cam be more effective as a defensive tackle in passing situations at this point in his career?
The Other Edge Guys
- 8 Sacks as a unit is troubling with an area considered as team strength.
- The early injuries to Payton Turner and Marcus Davenport contributed to the lower numbers.
- Tanoh Kpassagnon leads the squad with 2 sacks.
- Payton Turner is definitely a beast! Look for him to have more an impact the remaining 12 games.
- Carl Granderson has had flashes with pressures, hits, and tackles, but hasn't translated into sacks.