It has only been 4 games since Head Coach Dennis Allen has taken over in New Orleans, and the Saints are one of the most injury bitten teams in the league. Whatever the case the Saints look lost without Sean Payton.
What is Different for the New Orleans Saints?
This roster has so many familiar faces on the sideline every week, the one face missing however is that of Sean Payton. There is a calmness missing from this team, the attention to detail has been lost.
The New Orleans Saints are two miracles and a bad call away from a five year dynasty. Drew Brees left a hole in this franchise that might not ever get filled since his retirement. Now only two seasons later, with Sean Payton’s retirement, this team is a shell of its former self.
Yes, this team is dealing with injuries to three former pro-bowlers on offense. Yet it is the lack on concentration that has really plague the team this season thus far. Turnovers have been our biggest Achilles heel on offense.
On defense, 90% of the quarters played thus far has been phenomenal, single handedly keeping us in games. The New Orleans Saints have lost some close ones this season, all that credit goes to the defense. Numerous red zone opportunities for the opponent have ended in field goals instead of touchdowns. In London week 4, the Vikings had three drives in a row in the red zone get stifled, allowing the offense to find rhythm.
New Orleans Saints Injuries
Every week the injury report has been a blow to the fan base. Coming into the season, starting quarterback Jameis Winston had lingering leg issues. As well as Michael Thomas dealing with injuries to his legs. They both played in the first few games, after injuring other parts of the their body both sat out week 4.
Jameis Winston’s injury forces Taysom Hill to be taken away from his tight end role and sit on the sidelines as the back-up to the back-up, if needed. Hill is one of our most explosive players, yet we can not risk injury to him playing in the field if Andy Dalton gets injured.
Michael Thomas, when healthy, is top three wide outs in the NFL. Missing him has been a heartbreak to this city for the past two seasons. This year is looking no different as minor injuries here and there are nagging at the superstar.
Add in Alvin Kamara who due to his own injuries has not looked like the unstoppable play maker out of the backfield we are used to seeing. Part of that is due to not getting the ball regularly on check-downs like in the past. More on that in a second.
New Orleans Saints New Offense
This roster, when healthy is stacked! Three to five receivers who would be WR1 on any other offense together. Michael Thomas, Jarvis Landry both came into the league as a force, breaking multiple records in their first five seasons.
A three-headed monster in the backfield, led by Alvin Kamara who can not be tackled in the open field one on one. Behind him are two bruisers in Mark Ingram and Latavius Murray, both of which run hard.
There has been two problems with this offense from where I sit, on my couch watching every weekend with child like hope for this offense to click.
The New Orleans Saints are the worse team statistically turning the ball over. They are dead last in turnover differential with -7. As well as leading the league with 11 give aways, league leading 6 fumbles and tied for league leading 5 interceptions.
11 turnovers in 4 games is bad, you do not have to watch football to know that. An average of 2.3 turnovers a game is definitely not on anybodies keys to success. The lack of focus is missing from this team, turnovers put even more pressure on the defense, especially in short field situations.
The offense has not looked smooth with Winston at the helm, he ignores checking the ball down and forces plays down the field. Those check downs help move the offense, move the chains and get the defense cheating up. Allowing those deep plays to open up for the Saints.
Checking the ball down to a player like Kamara can turn into a 20+ yard gain any time he touches it. As well as take pressure off of Winston in the pocket, taking less hits would help him stay healthy.
New Orleans Needs to utilize their weapons better as well, get the ball in the hands of play makers. Take what the defense gives you, stop overthinking and allow them to make plays.
New Orleans Saints Overview:
Once this team gets healthy, it has potential is out of this world. The defense has done miracles to keep games close. The offense on the other hand, needs to make the simple plays and protect the ball.
Coach Dennis Allen needs to find a way to focus on ball security.
New Orleans has started the season 1-3, no time to panic. At the moment the Saints are only one or two games away from being in first place in the NFC South. They have the defense and talent on offense to put together a winning streak and turn this season around.
It all starts with FOCUS.
Rowan Donaghey is a NFL, NCAAF, and Betting insider for Gridiron Heroics. Follow him on twitter for daily bets and content via @RowanDonaghey
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