PHILADELPHIA – The 2021 Season of Saints has officially reached its crossroads. New Orleans is in unfamiliar and unusual territory after losing to the Eagles on Sunday and dropping to 5-5 this year. This is the first time the team has lost three straight games since 2016, and now only 7 games remain on the schedule to move the playoffs forward.
We’ve talked a lot about the Saints having no room for error, but that’s what continues to kill them and has been a real sticking point in losses this year. Yes, injuries aren’t ideal, and yet it’s a team that doesn’t support them as a reason they don’t produce.
“I don’t think injuries caused us to lose this game today,” Mark Ingram said after the game.
“I think the mistakes, the turnovers, we all have our hands on it, I flip the ball, which is unacceptable, and I have to do better as an individual to help our team be successful.”
Sean Payton said the team did not do the things necessary to win just about any phase of the game, and it is true.
Getting off to a good start, if not a decent start, was essential for the Saints to beat the Eagles. Trevor Siemian knew he had a pass under Adam Trautman to open the game. He also knew he gave Darius Slay a bad pitch during the two-minute drill. In the past, maybe this team could have gotten away with turnover here and there, but not this Saints team.
Defensively, New Orleans’ much-vaunted No.1 Race defense was beaten by Philadelphia. The Eagles racked up 242 rushing yards, and it wasn’t just Jalen Hurts who killed them. It was also Miles Sanders and Jordan Howard, and it wasn’t something overwhelming that led to success. They just got beaten up in the trenches.
The players have said a lot about the gaps, which seem to be focused on execution. Let’s face it, there was little execution on either side of the ball in the opening quarters. If you look at the final stats, you might think the Saints were in this one. However, they weren’t, and just about anything that could go wrong has gone wrong for the team.
It wasn’t that long ago that being at home turned out to be a huge plus, and the Saints have yet to find that out. mojo this season. Now would be a great time to find him for the next two Thursdays with the Bills and Cowboys arriving in town. The crazy part is that with the way things are going in the league, New Orleans is still able to make a playoff run, but they’re at critical mission now. They can’t afford to lose more games and catch up.
Bill Belichick once said that “the football season begins after Thanksgiving.” For the Saints, this must be their reality before the last 7 games. A once promising start has shrunk to face each week with even more urgency and importance, and New Orleans is going to have its hands full. Can they do it? It all depends on their level of execution. Will they do it? We’ll see.