With the exception of a missed field goal in the second half, Carolina looked as helpless as an attack could be.
NEW ORLEANS – Not only did I watch the New Orleans Saints beat the Carolina Panthers 18-10 on Sunday, but for most of the afternoon I felt just like them – trying to survive by any means necessary. My wife has had Covid or Omicron or whatever the latest flavor of the pandemic is these days, and I, like the New Orleans Saints, was just trying to survive. Anyway to take care of my wife and make sure that a 6 year old boy with a broken arm didn’t create more chaos, I was doing it.
Sean Payton may have struggled to create an offense with a patched offensive line and receiving bodies that unlike my lovely wife seemed unable to catch anything, but I was trying to take care of it. a sick spouse, to play Godzilla’s monopoly so that my son wouldn’t disturb his mother AND watch the Saints game.
All I’m saying is sometimes in 2021 (yes, I know it’s 2022, but it’s NFL season 21) surviving can be beautiful in its own way. The Saints and I managed to survive Sunday beautifully. My wife will be fine, and the Saints are heading into Week 18 with some playoff prospects alive and well.
The Saints after 17 weeks know exactly who they are – a dominant defense with a suddenly unblockable pass and an offense whose number one, two and three goals is not to lose the game. In Ric Flair’s immortal words, “You don’t have to love him, but you better learn to love him. Because it is the best thing to do. If Sean Payton had a better offense, don’t you think he would use it in a winning game? Sometimes the Saints ‘offense was so conservative that it made Jim Mora’s offenses in the early’ 90s truly daring.
Sean Payton knows that the Saints’ offense as it’s currently made up doesn’t win games, so it’s best to try and make a few good plays and let the defense do the rest. Sean Payton found a new love affair with running for the ball and explained why he remained determined to spin the ball even though it felt like the Saints were smashing their heads against a brick wall.
“I still think the ability to be two-dimensional as opposed to one-dimensional is important, especially if you pay attention to the game we just played.”
Sean Payton wasn’t about to start tossing the ball through a bunch of first downs and putting the game in the hands of Taysom Hill, even though Carolina dared him to do so. Sean Payton took exactly a huge risk on offense the entire game. The Saints faced a 3rd down and 11 yards to go with 1:14 to go before halftime and Payton let Taysom throw a deep ball to Marquez Callaway. The Saints converted and that led to a field goal for 10-9. If Taysom throws an incompleteness, or worse returns the ball, Carolina might have been able to bury the 2021 Saints for good, but Taysom and Callaway made the biggest play of the game.
Taysom Hill was pretty good on Sunday. He threw for 222 yards, ran for 45 more and only had one really bad decision that the Panthers gave up anyway. If Hill had gotten a little more help from Marquez Callaway, he would have had his best game of the year.
The offense could have been at its maximum efficiency on Sunday. No turnovers, a few games from Alvin Kamara and a score, a few catches from Callaway and Taysom protecting the ball. Survival.
While the offensive goal survives, the defense goal is the complete and utter destruction of the other teams. The Panthers have totaled 178 or more offensive yards; 36 yards after their first 2 drives of the match. THIRTY SIX METERS. I wanted to set up the Panthers second half reader board, but my WWL editors told me this is a family website and obscene content is not allowed.
Cam Jordan since his return from COVID has 6.5 bags and is unblockable. The Saints sacked Sam Darnold 7 times and, except for a missed second-half field goal, Carolina looked as helpless as an offense could be. The Panthers looked so bad on offense that the Saints missed the extra point after scoring to go up 18-10 didn’t feel like the absolute calamity he should have had. The Saints have the kind of pass rush from their defensive line that is Super Bowl winning quality. It would be nice to have even a medium attack to go with it, but injuries denied us that chance.
What the Saints have is a pretty decent chance of qualifying for the playoffs provided they can avoid being swept away by our most hated teams, the Atlanta Falcons, and can get it. of help from the Los Angeles Rams against the San Francisco 49ers. Look on the bright side, we have to back one of the Saints’ former NFC West teams we hated against another former NFC West rival who we hated even more!
This team of Saints is a mess. They’re injured to the point where it’s beyond comedy, they don’t have a reliable quarterback or receivers, and yet they’ll give us 17 football games that count and with one more win and finally some luck, can -be just a little more.
Welcome to the biggest Atlanta Falcons hate week of our entire lifetimes. The Saints 2021 are ending on a high note.
Ralph Malbrough is a contributing writer and Saints fan living in Houston. Email him at [email protected], find him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter at @SaintsForecast or download the Saints Happy Hour podcast.
RELATED: Jordan and Saints Defense Earn 18-10 Win over Panthers
RELATED: Saints Playoff Push: Who to Ground for in Week 17