The New Orleans Saints fell to the Green Bay Packers 37-30 at home to fall to 1-2. It came on a late game turnover, after the Packers turned over the ball on downs, and in Green Bay territory, Taysom Hill coughed it up. That would lead the Packers to score ten more and take a 37-27 lead with two minutes left to play. Does this game mean anything for the future of the Saints or is this just a fluke for a Super Bowl contender?
It’s Not Drew Brees
The Saints quarterback Drew Brees, who is a one-time Super Bowl winner and Super Bowl MVP, isn’t playing at the same level he was last season. He has a lower completion percentage, thrown for less yards a game and his passer rating has decreased. But, the former offensive player of the year is still ranked in the Top Ten for passer rating, QBR, touchdowns, and completion percentage.
Also, he has been without his number one receiver, Michael Thomas, last year’s AP offensive player of the year, so the passing attack is former pro-bowler, Alvin Kamara, Emmanuel Sanders, Tre’quan Smith, and Jared Cook. Nothing close to what it is with Thomas.
The Saints Need Defensive Help
New Orleans defense has allowed an average of 31.3 points a game this season, leaving them T-27 in the NFL. This is on playing total offenses of the Raiders, Bucs, and Packers that average out to about 389.5 yards per game, which would be 13th in the league. How bad is the Saints defense?
The Saints defense is simply nothing. Not great, not good, not bad. Just smack center in the league. Average. This could raise problems. The Saints offense is 19th in yards a game and 9th in points per game. Again average. Not one side is taking the lead. Last year their total offense and defense were top ten and they were third in points per game on offense. New Orleans was above average in points allowed per game on defense. Right now, the Saints are dull compared to last year.
The Saints have five pro-bowlers throughout their defense and offense and all of them are playing except Michael Thomas. New Orleans has great players and the reason to why they are losing isn’t because they are a below average team with below average players. They are 1-2 because the firepower on offense lacks which leads to a defensive meltdown for New Orleans, who have had an offense that was complementary to the defense. It shows this team doesn’t have a defense that can control games.
Are They in Trouble?
The importance of Michael Thomas can’t be put into words. Having someone on your team that is the offensive player of the year can transform an offense that doesn’t have the same firepower. They won their only game with him in. The Saints aren’t overwhelming defenses anymore because of the lack of the firepower.
The Saints are going to improve because of schedule and Thomas. They rank 24th in strength of schedule which is close to one of the easiest. The team doesn’t benefit from no fans where games with them would give them the edge over opponents like the Vikings, Falcons, and Panthers. The Saints will turn it around with the addition of Michael Thomas and start to get back to normal form. The former champs will be a team to contend for another Super Bowl. Don’t panic.
Follow me on Twitter @MarkleSports for more Chicago Bears’ news and notes and follow @OT_Heroics for any and all things sports!
Come discuss this and much more at the Overtime Heroics forums!
Be sure to check out our merch store powered by teespring.com and pick up something!