Saints must learn quickly and bounce back on short week
LAS VEGAS -- The New Orleans Saints went from a team that looked pretty good defensively and were poised to make offensive strides week-over-week to a squad that has way too many questions to answer going into a short week. The rough outing against the Raiders presented many issues on both sides of the ball, and you could point the finger at just about anyone.
"I don't think it's going to be pleasant film to watch, especially for star players," Sean Payton said following the game.
Payton added, "I thought we played poorly in the secondary, honestly."
Darren Waller torched the Saints defense on the night for 103 yards and a score on 12 receptions, but it wasn't just his performance that helped the Raiders get their second straight win against the NFC South. However, Payton did make it a point to say that his success was his team's own fault. Derek Carr and company went 10-for-17 on 3rd down, and they were the more disciplined team with just 3 penalties for 13 yards on the evening.
In short, the Saints defense just couldn't get off the field and the offense didn't have the ball but seven total possessions. When you look at the offensive stats, it clearly doesn't tell the whole picture. New Orleans did finish with 424 total yards of offense, averaging 7.4 yards per play while converting 7-of-11 on 3rd Down. The run game was working, starting strong. Things looked good for the first part of the game, as the Saints jumped out to a 17-7 lead.
Brees committed a costly error late in the first half, in which he threw a bad interception to Nicholas Morrow. He said in his post game press conference that he threw the ball a lot earlier than he wanted to, and should have just checked it down to Alvin Kamara.
"The turnover at the end of the half was unfortunate. If there's one thing I wish I could take back, it would be that," said Brees.
New Orleans had opportunities defensively, and a big fumble recovery by P.J. Williams looked to be a turning point for the Saints. Unfortunately, the offense couldn't put it together and had plenty of moments of going backwards due to penalties. Week 2 for Sean Payton's squad was just pretty ugly, and we've seen it before.
"At the end of the day, we took a L and that's something we have to learn from," Cam Jordan said.
"When we turn on the film, there's going to be glaring things we have to get better from."
Jordan added that everyone 'had a hand in it', saying that there's no luxury for a 24-hour rule. He went on to how the team needed to get better with their technique and discipline.
There were misfires. There were mental errors. There was undisciplined football. There were moments fundamental football didn't exist. There was just about anything you could imagine there that led to a horrid showing on Monday Night Football.
The bottom line is that the Saints are going to have to suffer through this bad loss and learn from it quickly, and how they respond in this short week to host Aaron Rodgers and a hot Packers squad will show us what this team is really made of.