Few machinations can fairly up the New Orleans Saints’ 31-6 loss to Buffalo on Thanksgiving night time within the Caesars Superdome.
The Saints (5-6), who misplaced their fourth consecutive sport for the primary time for the reason that 2015 season, constructed a robust first half defensively regardless of permitting a 10-play, 65-yard landing drive on Buffalo’s first possession. But there wasn’t a lot of the rest optimistic in opposition to the Bills (7-4) that might be logged.
OFFENSE: The unit is struggling. That’s as charitable a time period as can be utilized presently when the group hasn’t scored a first-quarter level in 4 video games and was shut out within the first half Thursday night time. The Saints totaled 190 yards – 44 speeding on 25 carries within the absence of operating backs Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram II – and have been unsuccessful on 9 of 14 third-down makes an attempt. Quarterback Trevor Siemian was sacked twice, hit six occasions, intercepted as soon as and by no means comfy. Short-yardage conversions have been a problem and the strain to be pristine has turn into heavy. The unit desperately wants to choose up its manufacturing, as there’s been a transparent regression, and it is going to require as a lot ingenuity as Coach Sean Payton and his employees can muster.
DEFENSE: For a half, the protection did sufficient to preserve New Orleans inside placing distance. Interceptions by cornerback Bradley Roby and linebacker Kwon Alexander, and sacks by linebacker Kaden Elliss and defensive finish Carl Granderson, helped the Saints maintain the Bills to 10 factors within the first half. But the load grew to become too heavy. It’s an excessive amount of of an expectation that the unit performs mistake-free or pitches a shutout till the offense catches up and places some factors on the board in help. Alexander’s interception got here within the purple zone (he was assisted by defensive finish Cam Jordan’s strain on the play; Jordan hit Bills quarterback Josh Allen as he was making an attempt to move) and it basically took factors off the board for Buffalo. But that momentum did not carry over to the second half, the place the Bills scored three touchdowns. New Orleans had hassle getting stops on third down (the Bills have been 8 for 13) and admittedly hasn’t been the protection it has stated it’s for the previous two video games.
SPECIAL TEAMS: The offense struggled, the protection weakened and particular groups did not fill within the gaps for both unit. The Saints’ return sport wasn’t impactful in any respect – 15.3-yard common on 4 kickoff returns, 12 yards on one punt return – and New Orleans wasn’t in a position to generate a splash play (blocked punt, pressured fumble). Unfortunately, “strong” is not sufficient as of late, with the group struggling in different areas and in want of a lift.