Explosive plays play leading role in Saints loss

NFL New Orleans Saints, New York Giants, Ceasar Superdome
NFL New Orleans Saints, New York Giants, Ceasar Superdome(Lucas Barrios | Lucas Barrios)
Published: Oct. 3, 2021 at 7:58 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - There are typically a handful of metrics and statistics that point to the winning team.

Rushing yards, time of possession, and third down conversion percentage are the keys to most games, and the Saints won all three against the Giants by a significant margin.

“If you looked at some of these numbers, you would say there are a number of positive things,” says head coach Sean Payton. “But again, there weren’t enough.”

That’s because they came up short in one specific area: explosive plays. There were not enough on offense and too many given up on defense, despite how well they played early on.

“Big plays will eliminate all of that,” says safety Malcolm Jenkins. “There was a lot of good stuff that we did on tape and a lot of things that I think we’re going to be excited about when we watch the tape. But obviously, those two (plays) erase a lot of the hard work that we did.”

Those two plays Jenkins refers to are the 51-yard touchdown pass from Daniel Jones to John Ross and the 54-yarder to Saquon Barkley over the top of Marshon Lattimore. but there were a number of other plays that hurt the Saints as well. The Giants totaled seven plays that went for 20 yards or more compared to just two for the Saints. Several of them led to the Giants game-tying field goal and game-winning touchdown in overtime.

“It’s a pretty simple game,” says Jenkins. “Don’t let them score, especially not fast on defense. We take a lot of pride in what we do for this team. I think this one’s on the defense. I know this one’s on the defense. We’ve got to play better for our team to have success. That starts with the big plays and tackling to the standard at which we set for ourselves.”

“Our defensive standard is very high,” says linebacker Demario Davis. “It’s very high. The way we came down the stretch, that’s just not our standard. Certainly, (there are) things that need to get cleaned up and fixed. That’s the challenge that we have to embrace.”

Contributing to the Saints’ problems giving up explosive plays was the lack of a pass rush. The loss against the Giants marks the first game this year where they didn’t register a single sack.

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