The Saints suffered a brutal late-game loss to the Bengals last Sunday. What are we able to take away from this game?
The Saints Defense NEEDS Marshon Lattimore
Marshon Lattimore was inactive for the team during their matchup with the Bengals. This left Bradley Roby and Paulson Adebo serving as the number one and two Cornerbacks for the team.
Watching Bradley Roby attempt to guard Ja’Marr Chase was flat-out ugly. On multiple plays, Roby could not stay with the Bengals’ star Wide Receiver. Even if Roby was playing tight coverage Chase was still able to haul in passes and shrug him off with ease. Roby’s poor tackling was a crucial part of what helped the Bengals take the lead on a 60-yard touchdown by, you guessed it, Ja’Marr Chase.
Roby wasn’t the only CB being terrorized by Chase, though. Paulson Adebo was coming off a rough outing against the Seahawks, in which he was torched on more than one occasion by Tyler Lockett. So with hopes of having a bounce-back game, Adebo fell short once again. Despite some decent coverage, Joe Burrow threaded the needle to his receiver, resulting in a touchdown. Aside from that Adebo was beaten on multiple short routes.
Adebo and Roby’s struggles were a large factor in Chase exploding for 132 yards and two touchdowns. It definitely would have been nice to see Lattimore out there to help contain the Bengals’ offense. Without their star corner, New Orleans is giving off some 2015 defense vibes.
The Saints May Have A Quarterback Controversy On Their Hands
Now this is by no means a huge controversy, neither Quarterback looks like a franchise guy, but the recent success of the offense makes you think if the Saints should even go back to Winston.
In every game that Andy Dalton has started the Saints have scored at least 25 points, a feat the team only achieved once with Winston as the starter.
His stats may not blow you away, and neither will his arm strength, but watching the way the New Orleans offense operates when the Red Rifle is under center is a nice change from the struggles the offense has seen dating back to last week.
The risk with Dalton at quarterback is much lower, as he tends to take the easy completions a lot more than Winston does, but that does come with a price. In exchange for those easy yards, the offense essentially eliminates the threat of the deep ball because Jameis has no lack of arm strength, while Dalton does. Despite the cannon of an arm that Winston has, his inability to connect with a wide-open Chris Olave may be a reason to stick with Dalton. Chunks of yards are better than none at all.
The Run Game Is The Key To Success for the Saints Offense
Every ball carrier for the team averaged over five yards a carry. Alvin Kamara is finally starting to look like the Running Back we have come to know in recent years, and Mark Ingram has found some life as well. Both backs had a bit of a rough start to the year, but they both had solid outings against Cincinnati.
Taysom Hill is an unstoppable force when he gets the ball and quite frankly, becomes the guy to provide a spark for the offense. He was not utilized as well as he was against the Seahawks, but he still had moments to praise during this game.
Then out of nowhere, Rashid Shaheed took a jet sweep 44-yards to the house on his first and only NFL touch!
With all the injuries to the receiving core, the run game must be at its best.
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