The Saints led most of the way until Joe Burrow hit Ja’Marr Chase for a 60-yard touchdown to give the Bengals the 30-26 win in New Orleans. New Orleans’ offense had plenty of opportunities to put this game away, but couldn’t convert when they went into the red zone. Here are three takeaways from the Saints 30-26 loss at home:
Saints Offense Unable to Execute in the Red Zone:
The Saints offense was able to move the ball effectively against a tough Cincinnati defense. New Orleans was able to get their running game going again as the black and gold had 228 rushing yards. The black and gold had four drives that proved to be key where they entered the red zone, but had to settle for three points.
Wil Lutz was able to knock home all of his field goal attempts, but field goals were not going to win this game against a Bengals offense that was building momentum in the second half against the Saints defense.
There were too many times where the Saints were driving deep into Cincinnati territory, but couldn’t punch it into the endzone to increase their lead. There were times where New Orleans went for the field goal, but the Bengals were able to cash in for six to cut into the Saints lead.
New Orleans Has No Answers for Joe Burrow:
In what was a homecoming game for Joe Burrow coming back to the state of Louisiana, it was a successful trip down to the boot. Burrow finished the game with 300 passing yards and three touchdowns. There were times in the game where the former LSU product used his legs to extend the drive for the Bengal offense.
Not only was Burrow able to find the endzone through the air, but he was able to tack on a 19-yard rush to give his offense momentum in the third quarter. The Saints defense did a good job of shutting down the Bengals rushing attack as they only picked up 75 total yards on the ground.
The black and gold though allowed Burrow and the Bengals offense 348 total yards of offense. The dagger for the Saints defense was the 60-yard touchdown grab by Chase to give the Bengals the late lead. The Saints defense were not able to create the pressure against Burrow as they only had three sacks on the day. Two of those sacks came back-to-back in the final minutes of the fourth quarter.
Rashid Shaheed Shows Off His Speed:
The UDFA was elevated to the Saints roster, due to the injuries in the Saints receiving core. New Orleans was without Michael Thomas, Chris Olave and Jarvis Landry heading into the matchup against the Bengals.
Rashid Shaheed wasted no time showing his athleticism as New Orleans ran a jet sweep with him that worked to perfection. He would take off for a 44-yard touchdown to give the Saints the touchdown lead in the second quarter. The rookie wide receiver out of Weber State was able to make himself known with the absence of the Saints key pass catchers.
Shaheed was also the main punt returner and kick off returner for the Saints special teams unit. The Bengals did a good job of limiting his production in the return game as he only returned one kick for 20 yards and a punt for six yards.