Time to panic? Maybe not yet, but New Orleans fan may have to start to worry a little bit. The Saints lost 35-27 to the rival Panthers on Sunday and are officially alone in last place in the NFC South. Drew Brees once again threw for a ton of yards, but also throw two more interceptions in this game. He is going to rack up the yards, and score points, but he has struggled to score more than the opposing offense. That is in large part to the pitiful defense that the Saints are playing at this point. New Orleans has not had a great defense in recent memory, but that hasn’t stopped the Saints from winning games in the past. I hate to sound like a broken record, but all the distractions from the off season seems to really have affected the players thus far.
I want to highlight the offenses struggles first. New Orleans cannot expect to win many games losing the turnover battle, and once again they lost that today. Brees didn’t play horrible today, but it seems like he needs to play at an MVP level each game to keep the Saints in the contest. He cannot turn the ball over, simple as that, but that is what he has been doing. Also, the injuries to the receivers may be creeping up on them. With Henderson and Arrington gone, Colston manged just 49 yard, and Moore only 30. Darren Sproles had a whopping 128 yards on 13 catches and Jimmy Graham had 7 catches on 13 targets. Now, it isn’t a bad thing to frequently throw to your safety blankets, but for this offense to fully click, Brees needs to hit his big wideouts.
Now, the defense needs some work. Injuries have been plentiful, with the linebackers deep in the reserves and 2 of the top 3 corners out as well. Still, they have been unacceptably bad thus far. The offense that managed less than 20 yards on the ground last week totaled 219 yards against New Orleans. Of course, Jonathan Stewart suited up this game which helped a lot. DeAngelo Williams also improved drastically on his -1 yard performance last week. Carolina has plenty of depth at RB, so I won’t bash the Saints too bad on this. Cam Newton torched the Saints D though. He threw for over 250 yards on just 14 completions. The wide receivers predictably did well with the opposing corners banged up. He also ran for over 70 yards, showing his trademark speed and power. The guy can do it all and really showed the defense up.
It’s still early in the season, but the Saints need to win soon to keep their morale from falling too far. They will come back home next Sunday to face a sputtering Kansas City team. Both teams will be looking for their first win, so somethings gotta give. New Orleans thus far has the worst rushing defense in the league, so stopping the tandem of Jamaal Charles and Peyton Hillis may prove daunting.