It’s been nearly two years since a soaking-wet Sean Payton was carried off the field following his New Orleans Saints’ Super Bowl victory over Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts. After a collision last week injured his knee and left leg, Payton won’t be on the sidelines for Sunday night’s rematch, while Manning won’t be on the field once again for the winless Colts.
The rest of the NFC South defenses also are struggling in this area. Atlanta is No. 29 with 854 yards allowed after the catch. New Orleans is No. 28 with 837 yards. Carolina is No. 21 with 736 yards after the catch
But some strange things happened in Sunday’s loss to Tampa Bay. In a game in which Payton had his leg broken and spent the second half in the locker room, Sproles had only one carry for 16 yards.
The New Orleans Saints offensive line has been long heralded as one of the NFL’s best — both in run blocking and pass protection — but off-season changes were thought to usher in a new era of struggles.