Saints – Five Key Takeaways from Denver Loss

After a heartbreaking loss to Denver on a blocked PAT, the Saints have much to prove in the second half of their season.

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  1. Saints’ Defense Continues to Grow

The Saints’ defense came into the game gaining confidence in their play. With the majority of the Saints’ defense finally healthy, they got after Trevor Siemian early and often. The New Orleans front seven managed to generate six sacks, over half of the amount of Saints’ sacks coming into the game (11), and forced two costly interceptions to give their offense a chance. Although they could not turn their performance into a win, much of the blame can be put on the Saints’ turnovers and struggles on special teams. Look for the New Orleans ‘D’ to carry their strong performance to a Thursday night divisional game against the Panthers.

  1. New Orleans Continues to Play ‘Young’

The youth of the Saints’ playmakers really showed through short term lapses that turned into turnovers on Sunday. Rookie receiver Michael Thomas had come into the game as one of the hottest rookies in the league but struggled to hold onto the ball, fumbling twice and letting a catch turn into a tipped pass for an interception. The Saints’ could not overcome his mishandles and allowed the Broncos to gain momentum in the second half. Drew Brees is the clear leader of the team and will have to right his young team’s wrongs with a short week ahead of them.

  1. Saints Still Struggle on Special Teams

It is clear that the Saints have finally found a possible franchise kicker but no one to block for him to get the kick off. Wil Lutz has made some big kicks in his rookie year but has also had two key kicks blocked this season. Special teams coach Greg McMahon will have a short week to adjust his field goal team but the Saints must do something after their heartbreaking loss to the Broncos. Look for special teams to be an emphasis all three days headed into their divisional matchup against the Carolina Panthers.

  1. Still in the Hunt

Even with a heartbreaking loss in the Superdome, the Saints cannot forget that they have key divisional matchups in coming weeks. Only two games back from the divisional lead, the Saints season is not over, even without being above .500. New Orleans has the opportunity to make a second half surge with four division games left and it is a guarantee that Drew Brees will be reminding his team that all week. It will be tough to remind their young roster that it is a new week but Sean Payton and the rest of the coaching staff are more than capable of tackling the challenge.

  1. Continue to Carry a Confident Mentality

The Saints have played every opponent tough this season, despite their 4-5 record. Losing four close games this season, the Saints must carry their ‘swagger’ on a short week. New Orleans’ defense has played with a chip on their shoulder, forcing a turnover in their last four games. That attitude must generate through the whole roster as they try to climb back into the division race. The NFC South has been a roller coaster of sorts and New Orleans is more than capable of running the table against their opponents. As these next few weeks play out, only time will tell if the Saints are capable of carrying an attitude or if they will only add another losing season in NOLA.

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Author Details
Beau Kirkbride is a student at The Ohio State University, where he studies Sports Industry and Management. Growing up a Saints and Buckeyes fan, football is his passion.
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Beau Kirkbride is a student at The Ohio State University, where he studies Sports Industry and Management. Growing up a Saints and Buckeyes fan, football is his passion.

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