Saints need steady offense that avoids mistakes to start winning

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Saints-Bucs 2022
(Photo: Parker Waters)

If you want to see the script the Saints should follow, just watch the tape of Monday night’s Cowboys win over the Giants.

That’s the way the Saints should be playing.

Run the football, protect the football, get the lead, play great defense, pin your ears back and rush the opposing passer.

It is pretty amazing to see the Cowboys now, without Dak Prescott, winning the way the Saints used to do it.

Free agent quarterback Cooper Rush, who was available to the other 31 teams when he was cut August 30 by the Cowboys, has engineered two wins. In fact, he has been solid as a rock.

Rush’s stats in those two wins don’t jump off the page. He is 40 of 62 passing for 450 yards and two touchdowns. Just as important has been no interceptions. He knows what he can and cannot do. So does head coach Mike McCarthy.

McCarthy gets a lot of heat from Cowboys fans, but he is a very good coach of quarterbacks. In New Orleans, he was Aaron Brooks’ security blanket. When McCarthy left, Brooks’ best football in the league left as well.

Which brings us to your New Orleans Saints. No matter how many yards Jameis Winston accumulates, he cannot continue to throw interceptions and take sacks. He simply cannot.

If Winston does it again Sunday in London, Saints head coach Dennis Allen has to make a move to Andy Dalton.

A veteran who has a wealth of experience, Dalton isn’t the physical specimen of Winston, not even close. What Dalton is, a quarterback who can make good decisions and throw the football accurately, makes him a viable option for the Saints right now.

More than anything through three weeks, the Saints need a signal caller who can keep them in games before they can try to win them.

The defense has come under criticism early this season, but sacks and turnovers often come more frequently when you lead in games. This season in three games, the Saints have led in the fourth quarter for a total of 19 seconds.

That’s right, 19 seconds.

Not good enough.

The Saints look to me like a team that is pressing. When you see Wil Lutz kick a field goal into the middle of the line, that isn’t Wil Lutz. Alvin Kamara fumbling isn’t Alvin Kamara.

However, Jameis Winston tossing passes to the other team is part of his resume’. In 2019, he was the only player in the NFL to throw for 5,000 yards. As a free agent, he still had no offers to sign as a starting quarterback.

Winston has to be better. He just has to be.

Take the check down throw, move the chains. If you have to punt, so be it.

Trust your defense and keep playing. Just like the Cowboys.

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Ed Daniels

WGNO Sports Director/106.1 FM

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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…

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