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Saints: The Monday After Questions Following Losing to the Giants

New Orleans went down to the New York Giants, but questions are lingering inside the puzzling defeat.

Sunday's 27-21 loss left the near 70,000 faithful Saints fans hallow and bewildered. Many anticipated a glorious "homecoming" for their beloved team after the toll Hurricane Ida took on the local and surrounding areas.  

Still, the Monday after the Saints' disappointing loss to the New York Football Giants left more questions than answers supplied at the after-game pressers. 

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Where Were the Defensive Veterans in the 4th Quarter & OT?

You can expect rookie coaches and young players to collapse in games dramatically. In reality, many wouldn't have figured this 2021 version of the New Orleans Saints defense would falter on Sunday.

At the same time, who's accountable? New Orleans has a veteran coach with a collection of championship-caliber players who outplayed a winless NFL team for most of the contest.  

What happened with the defense in the second half? 

The statistics were alarming. 

No, Cam Jordan. No, Marshon Lattimore. No, Chauncey Gardner-Johnson. 

Only Demario Davis (4 tackles), Marcus Williams (4 tackles), Malcolm Jenkins (4 tackles, 1 TFL), and Pete Werner (6 tackles) were players who recorded defensive stats in the second half. 

Jenkins (3 tackles), Adebo (2 tackles), Roach (2 tackles), and Tuttle (1 tackle) notched action against the Giants as they marched 75 yards in nine plays.

If the Saints Defense is the "strength of the team", where were the leaders and playmakers?


New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston (2)

Is Jameis Winston Being Handcuffed?

Jameis Winston apologized explicitly to the fans for the defeat. Although, Winston's performance was very little to apologize for by the quarterback - he performed well. Winston connected with the efficiency of Drew Brees and finished the game, completing 17/23 (74%), 226 yards, 1 TD, and a 119.1 quarterback rating.

Taysom Hill contributed with two tremendous touchdown scampers - one he went "Beastmode" on the Giants defenders. 

Still, you sense that the coaching staff is not 100% Pro-Jameis. In the 4th quarter, with 9:24 left on the clock, Coach Payton turned to Taysom Hill on a 3rd-and-2 play. The G-Men knew what was coming and quickly stuffed Hill at the line of scrimmage.  

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The Saints punted the football and momentum to the Giants. On the next play, Daniel Jones had Barkley one-on-one against Lattimore. The game changed when he threw a 54-yard strike to Barkley for a touchdown and converted a 2-point attempt. The lead shrunk to 3 points, 21-18.

Why was it necessary to take the football out of Jameis Winston's hands?  

I understand setting a tone and fitting Winston into the New Orleans Saints' offensive system, but it may be time to modify it to his strengths.   

Winston is Winston and he will never be Drew Brees — it's time to embrace it and let the past be in the past.    

You have a weapon, it's time to unleash it.  Will he need some tweaking?  Yes.  

Unless the coaching staff modifies their approach, the Saints offense will be in the bottom half of the NFL.


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Was Kamara Purposefully Left Out of the Receiving Game Plan?

There's too much offensive talent here in New Orleans, and most of it resides in Alvin Kamara.   I could have written that the Giants held Kamara without a reception on Sunday.  But that was not the case.

Kamara was not targeted as a receiver the entire contest.  For the second time in his 64-game career, the Saints' most dangerous player did not record a reception.  

Is there a disconnect between Kamara and Winston/Hill on screen passes, crossing routes, or wheel routes?   Or, could this have been how the game played out for Sean Payton?   Nevertheless, it was a golden opportunity for the Saints to capitalize on a weakened linebacking corps versus one the best multi-level players in the NFL.

Was it noticeable?  Yes.  How will Sean Payton and his staff include Kamara in the receiving attack is the key?


Washington Football Team quarterback Taylor Heinicke (4)

UP NEXT

  1. The New Orleans Saints (2-2) will visit a Washington Football Team (2-2) riding high from a 34-30 road victory against the Atlanta Falcons (1-3).
  2. The Saints need a win before heading into their bye week. Before that can happen, the team and coaches need to address appropriately using Winston, Kamara, Deonte Harris, Kenny Stills, and Juwan Johnson.
  3. Johnson has quietly become a more reliable option for Winston in the passing game.
  4. Kenny Stills proved that he knows how to get open on his apparent touchdown catch (which was reversed due to a Trautman penalty).
  5. Get Deonte Harris open; he and Winston will do the rest.

Saints News Coverage in Week 4