Saints Report: New Orleans Saints humbled by Carolina Panthers
Through the first two weeks of the NFL season, the New Orleans Saints have shown us two different sides to themselves.
On Sunday, they followed up a 35-point week one win over the Packers with an ugly 19-point week two loss to the Panthers.
Head Coach Sean Payton said, “It was the exact opposite of last week. We became the team that was on the field for however many snaps. We were the team that didn’t have enough snaps offensively, so therefore, there’s an attrition defensively, and it’s hard to win games that way. I’ll be honest with you.”
The NFL is a humbling league and the Saints got humbled in the 26-7 loss to the Panthers.
Carolina won the time of possession by more than 17 minutes and the Saints didn’t score their first points of the game until the fourth quarter en route to their lowest scoring output since 2015. “Offensively, particularly, it’s as poor as we’ve been in a long time around here, and that starts with me.”
It all starts up front with quarterback and offensive line being on the same page. Just one week after throwing for five touchdowns and no interceptions, Jameis Winston’s only score came on the ground to go along with two picks. He also took four sacks and was hit 11 times. Winston said, “I have to communicate better. I have to be louder. Our first time on the road, definitely have to be able to use my voice to be able to communicate to the offensive line with the protection, and what we want.”
Offensive tackle Terron Armstead said, “I think our problems were in communication. That’s from between the O-line, the O-line to quarterback, just communication problems. They did a good job of throwing out a lot of different looks, and then the crowd noise was a factor too I would say, just doing the silent count and all those non-verbal communications. Those small things played a part.”
Carolina’s zone pressure also affected the run game, especially Alvin Kamara. The fifth-year back accounted for just 30 yards on 12 touches, the lowest total since his rookie season in 2017 when he left a game with a concussion. Kamara said, “I don’t think we ever got a run game going really. I don’t know how many attempts we had, but we’ve got to get into a better rhythm, and I think it starts up front with our O-line. And we talk about running the ball – we have to have opportunities for it to start up front.”
Also working against the Black and Gold were injuries to starters like Erik McCoy, Marshon Lattimore, and CJ Gardner-Johnson, as well as eight coaches being held out of the game due to COVID-19 protocols, but at the end of the day, it’s all about the mirror and who’s looking back in it. “There’s no handicap. Nobody cares that coaches aren’t there. We don’t get an extra second on the play clock because we don’t have coaches. We don’t get an extra down because there’s no coaches. It is what it is.”
Strong Safety Malcolm Jenkins said, “Yeah, I mean I think our leadership is a strength and the culture that we’ve built over a long time. We know how to win, we know what it takes to win, we’ve got a coach that doesn’t allow us to stray away from that formula and the young guys follow suit. So, it’ll be up to a lot of the veterans on the team to make sure that we move past this one the same way we wanted to move past last week.”
Next up for the Saints is a week three road game against the New England Patriots at noon Sunday.