Welcome everyone to the latest edition of #4Downs where I break down what went right and what went wrong for the New Orleans Saints. This week, we look at the Saints loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
1st Down: Missed Opportunities
The Saints defense brought the heat on Sunday and managed to pick off Jameis Winston three times in the loss. However, they were only able to get 10 points off of those turnovers. It’s another example of this offense unable to put the boots to a team and let them just hang around.
2nd Down: Kamara Locks Down Rookie of the Year
If the NFC Offensive Rookie of the Year wasn’t already going to be awarded to Alvin Kamara, his kick return for a touchdown pretty much locked it up. Add that to 128 total yards from scrimmage; it was another exemplary game from a third-round pick in the NFL Draft.
If only the offensive effort from the rest of the team was there.
3rd Down: Defense Buckles on Third Down
While the Saints offense improved on third down, their defensive efforts to end the Buccaneers drive were suboptimal. The Buccaneers were able to convert 13 of their 18 third down attempts and that was a big reason why they were able to come away with the win.
It was a pretty simple gameplan for the Bucs as those third down conversion helped them control the time of possession.
4th Down: Still NFC South Champions
While it’s upsetting to see the Saints lose their regular season finale to the Bucs, they were still able to achieve one of their biggest goals in winning the NFC South thanks to the Atlanta Falcons taking down the Panthers.
The Saints will need to find that offensive spark though as they will host the Panthers on Sunday. If they can’t find it, they’ll be watching the rest of the postseason from home against a Panthers team that will likely have Greg Olsen playing in this matchup. The Saints have had a hard time stopping him in recent years and it could be more of the same next Sunday.