After Further Review: Five takes from Saints loss to Vikings

Saints quarterback Derek Carr (4) was knocked out of the game Sunday (Nov. 12) with a shoulder...
Saints quarterback Derek Carr (4) was knocked out of the game Sunday (Nov. 12) with a shoulder injury and concussion Sunday on this hit by Minnesota Vikings linebacker D.J. Wonnum. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)(Abbie Parr | AP)
Published: Nov. 12, 2023 at 6:23 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Take One: Back to .500

The Saints came into Minnesota armed with a golden opportunity to win three straight games and head into their bye week 6-4 and start to break away from the middle of the pack in the NFL. Instead, the Saints resorted back to their natural tendency to remain average and inconsistent.

Don’t let that finish fool you. The Saints deserved every bit of that 27-19 loss. The Vikings, a franchise that seems to always have the Saints number, were by far the better team and dropped the Saints to 5-5 at the ten-game mark.

Fortunately for them, 5-5 is still good enough to be in sole possession of first place in the division after Atlanta lost to Arizona.

Take Two: Where the game was lost

At the 10:17 mark of the second quarter, Chandler took a direct snap and ran it in from two yards out for the game’s first score.

The Saints responded with a three & out.

On the next drive, the Vikings marched 82 yards on 9 plays culminating in a seven-yard, third down touchdown run by Josh Dobbs.

The Saints responded with another three & out.

On the next drive, the Vikings 76 yards in 1:31 that ended with a Josh Dobbs to T.J. Hockenson touchdown strike with 22 seconds left on the clock.

In a span of just under ten minutes, the game went from 3-3 to 24-3. Despite a late rally, the Saints were never able to overcome this stretch.

Take Three: Dismantled defense

The Saints defense knew they needed to start faster. They didn’t do it.

The Saints defense had a plan for Dobbs running ability. It didn’t work.

They knew they needed to play with more discipline. It didn’t happen.

Another slow defensive start cost the Saints another game Sunday. This time its was the dynamic duo of Dobbs and Hockenson that did them.

In the second half they once again regrouped and only allowed three points the rest of the way. But at some point, they knew digging themselves in an early hole is not a formula for success. On Sunday it caught them once again.

Take Four: Jameis Winston experience

He’s nothing if not entertaining. Thrust into the lineup midway through the third quarter, he proceeded to take us all on the Jameis Winston experience.

He immediately connected on a touchdown toss to Chris Olave. Then, Winston missed his next six throws but caught a break when a tipped interception was overturned. From there, he connected on one of the wildest touchdown throws in football when he rolled to his left, threw it back across his body to the opposite sideline to A.T. Perry, who wrestled the ball away from the defender for a touchdown. A two-point conversion put the Saints within one score.

At that point, the stadium full of Vikings fans got tense.

But then came the inevitable dip in the roller coaster. Winston threw up a prayer to Olave on third and two that was overthrown and picked off. On his next opportunity, Winston overshot a throw to Rashid Shaheed for another pick that ended up being the game-sealer.

All in all, Winston helped provide some juice to a game where the Saints had none. His effort was admirable but wasn’t quite good enough.

Take Five: Other Observations

  • Carr took an absolutely viscous hit in the third quarter that knocked him out of the game.
  • Carr’s first two targets of the game went to Michael Thomas. On that second one, his lone reception, Thomas injured his knee and never returned. It certainly felt like his absence had an impact on the overall flow of the offense.
  • Dennis Allen was asked if he would re-evaluate the quarterback position after the game. He was pretty clear in stating that Derek Carr is the team’s starting quarterback.
  • Taysom Hill only had one carry all game.
  • Marshon Lattimore was carted off the field with an ankle injury.
  • After committing just one last week, the Saints had nine penalties Sunday.
  • On Dobbs’ touchdown run, Alontae Taylor had the angle on him, but Dobbs was still able to turn the corner.
  • US Bank Stadium is one of the loudest in football.

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