Welcome everyone to another edition of #4Downs! This week it’s all about the New Orleans Saints loss to the Houston Texans.
1st Down: Flip the Script
Typically, the offense for the Saints is the major talking point after games and how much better it is than the defense. But on Saturday night the performance of the offense was that of frustration with Payton saying that it is the worst that they have looked in some time. The defense on the other hand, looked very well. There were a couple of turnovers on the offensive side of the ball and the defense helped keep the score down below 20 points, something the Saints couldn’t do all of last season. If not for the underperforming offense, the Saints might have come away with the win. Sounds strange doesn’t it?
2nd Down: Potential Cuts
The first round of cuts are coming up for all NFL teams and there might be a couple of players no longer on the team that were significant performers in 2015. Marcus Murphy, based off of how Payton talked of the former Mizzou wide receiver, seems to be one of the ones to go, stating that it just can’t happen and we’ll get another returner. Another player that was discussed with a lot of negativity was Brandon Coleman. Despite leading the team in receptions and teceiving yards, he was chastised for having a few dropped passes.
“I don’t like how he’s catching the ball on the first play that got out of his hands, too many times the ball separated from him,” Payton said, “I don’t like where the ball’s at when he’s running on the naked boot.” This could be the death knell for the wideout as the Saints have a big man that has performed well in Michael Thomas. It wouldn’t hurt to keep another big body around, but with a poor performance like this, Coleman could be seeing the door in the future.
3rd Down: Undrafted Rookies Shining
The biggest stories out of camp so far have been the two defensive rookies that went undrafted and have performed very well in Ken Crawley and De’Vante Harris. Crawley had a heck of a game so far with four tackles and almost took one to the house late in the first half if he had kept a hold of it. Harris wasn’t half bad himself and showed a lot of promise. If there’s a couple of players that could stay on for 2016 defensively it has to be these two guys.
4th Down: Messy Offensive Line
It seems like the Saints troubles with the offensive line are continuing to happen. Andrus Peat has been the biggest offender with a lack of protection for Drew Brees. After a year in the system, the former Stanford player should be able to learn how to play whatever position he is going to play. However, he was unable to making the quarterbacks become under pressure and underperform. It was also evident in the run game. When the backup QB has more rushing yards in less attempts, that is a definite red flag. It looked like the holes just wouldn’t open up and the Texans defensive line made the O-Line look silly getting behind the line before you could blink. Maybe it’s because of a lack of chemistry, but this problem needs to be fixed and quick.