In what was an important divisional sport that may seemingly have playoff implications, the New Orleans Saints laid a goose egg in opposition to their rival the Atlanta Falcons. The Saints offense made 5 journeys into the purple zone and fell wanting scoring a landing on every of these journeys, in the end being the most important distinction within the sport.
Offensively, this crew moved the ball fairly successfully at instances however failed to complete drives. QB Derek Carr shortly discovered a reference to WR Chris Olave early on within the sport, hitting on 7 of 9 targets for 114 yards earlier than Olave left the sport resulting from damage. The offense totaled 444 yards on the day, 296 by means of the air and 148 on the bottom. A well-balanced assault for essentially the most half simply unable to search out success within the purple zone. Accidents to Chris Olave, Rashid Shaheed and already being with out Michael Thomas undoubtedly make issues harder however you continue to must discover a strategy to rating.
Chris Olave has a season-high 114 yards within the first half
— Katherine Terrell (@Kat_Terrell) November 26, 2023
One of the crucial essential factors within the sport additionally got here within the purple zone the place Derek Carr locked in on Rashid Shaheed on a slant and was picked off by Atlanta S Jessie Bates which he took all the way in which for a rating. This sport seemingly might have been very completely different when it comes to momentum if the Saints are in a position to get factors on this drive as a substitute of giving up 7.
On the defensive facet, the crew began off the sport fairly sound probably not permitting QB Desmond Ridder to make many throws however within the second half of the sport Atlanta’s operating sport actually began to get going with RB’s Bijan Robinson and Tyler Allgier. The crew allowed 228 yards on the bottom on 41 carries, a mean of 5.6 ypc. The crew couldn’t appear to search out a solution to Atlanta’s outdoors zone run scheme wherein they’ll make you pay by reducing bottom when you over pursue or discovering the sting if you’re hesitant. The Saints had no solutions for this. To be truthful, the crew did discover success getting a pair turnovers by S Tyrann Mathieu which helped the crew keep within the sport, however the offense couldn’t capitalize in any respect. The protection would have seemingly performed an entire completely different sport if the crew was truly in a position to rating factors.
On particular groups, Okay Blake Grupe had a very good day hitting on 5 of his 6 discipline purpose makes an attempt, lacking solely his final one. Grupe hit kicks from all around the discipline and single handedly stored the Saints on this sport when it’s not his job to try this. My hat goes off Grupe for doing his factor when all of the stress is on him as a rookie. Spectacular job.
Blake Grupe is 5 for five. He is the king of the “simply good” discipline purpose in the present day.
— Jeff Duncan (@JeffDuncan_) November 26, 2023
Subsequent week, the Detroit Lions come into New Orleans coming off of a troublesome loss versus Inexperienced Bay on Thanksgiving. The Saints are very banged up going into what’s going to be their hardest matchup of the 12 months. They’re seemingly going to wish a miracle to come back up victorious on this one.