No secrets about why Saints are sliding
There’s no conundrum has to why New Orleans lost to Philadelphia for its third straight defeat overall.
The Saints are again depleted by injuries.
They ran into a hot football team that has found its sea legs after a very slow start.
The schedule, somewhat soft early in the season, has ramped up.
Retirement, the salary cap and just plain attrition have caught up with New Orleans after a 5-2 start.
Let’s look closer at the injuries.
At left tackle, rookie Landon Young was making his first NFL start Sunday. The Saints were missing three starters on the offensive line including both of their outstanding tackles, Terron Armstead and Ryan Ramczyk.
The Saints were also missing their best player, running back Alvin Kamara, for a second straight game with a knee injury.
So, the Philadelphia defense did what any defense would do against a team with a depleted wide receiver corps, a patchwork offensive line and missing one of the most versatile players in the NFL.
They came off the bus blitzing.
It wasn’t pretty.
The Saints defense will get a ton of criticism for allowing the Eagles to rack up 242 rushing yards.
And it should.
However, this in the NFL. You can’t expect the defense to be great every week.
I am sorry, you can’t.
This isn’t the Steel Curtain defense of the Pittsburgh Steelers of the 1970’s.
Teams will move the ball, and they will score.
Heading into Sunday, the Buffalo Bills had the best defense in the NFL in yards per game allowed.
They were shredded at home for 41 points by the Colts.
There’s also turnover.
Of the 24 starters, counting the kicker and the punter, who started the playoff game against the Bucs, 14 were different in the starting lineup for the Eagles.
A few have been upgrades. Kwon Alexander is an upgrade from Alex Anzalone at linebacker. Blake Gillikin has been spectacular in place of future Saints Hall of Fame punter Thomas Morstead.
But there’s no replacing Kamara, and there’s no replacing Drew Brees.
For all of you who were keenly anticipating the retirement of Brees, I say again to be careful what you wish for. In this case, you got it.
Maybe if Jameis Winston hadn’t suffered a serious knee injury against the Bucs, the Saints’ record would be better.
Still, there is no replacing a first Ballot Hall of Famer.
So, where do the Saints go from here?
Well, they hopefully get Kamara back soon, keep leaning on their defense and hopefully get healthier in general.
This is 2021, a transition year. If everything broke the Saints’ way, they were a 10- or 11-win team.
If injuries hit, they were not.
They are likely not.
So, here’s some advice. Don’t try to figure it out.
Dallas and their explosive offense scored nine points at Kansas City. The two-loss Titans lost to the two-win Houston Texans. The favored Bills were blown out at home by the Colts.
That’s just another week in the NFL.
On to next week.
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WGNO Sports Director/106.1 FM
Ed is a New Orleans native, born at Baptist Hospital. He graduated Rummel High School, class of 1975, and subsequently graduated from Loyola University. Ed started in TV in 1977 as first sports intern at WVUE Channel 8. He became Sports Director at KPLC TV Channel 7 in Lake Charles in 1980. In 1982 he was hired as sports reporter…