Saints over Falcons in Week 12: Observations from the cheap seats

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Observations: Part two

Drew Brees
NEW ORLEANS, LA – NOVEMBER 22: Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints walks off the field after defeating the Atlanta Falcons at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on November 22, 2018 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /

This may be my consistent gripe in my observations. The Taysom Hill experiment is wearing thin. With not a huge lead after halftime, first play out of the chute we go with Taysom Hill with a drop back pass attempt. We have not seen Hill throw a great pass yet this season. That didn’t seem the time to try one. He got sacked. Scrap that play, please. That was the Saints’ 11th sack given up for the season, but I hesitate to even count it, due to Hill’s being in over Brees.

Two more gripes. One, the use of a time out on 4th and 7 near midfield, thinking we’re drawing Atlanta offside. This isn’t Cleveland or someone else we don’t play often. Atlanta has seen us do that too many times. Waste of a time out. Two, we have had several instances recently where we take too long getting plays into the huddle. That’s a coaching issue. I appreciate that they want the right call and they have dialed up way more correctly than not. But our efficiency needs to be better.

Thomas Morstead punted three times in this game. It was the first time since the Week 3 game against Atlanta that he’s punted more than two times in a game. He even had two games with no punts in that stretch.

You could see the signs of the short week on the players. There wasn’t the same rah-rah from them, even when the game was well in hand late. The offensive line gave up those sacks which is uncharacteristic (though they were playing a division opponent and that is often a difference, two of the nine sacks given up before this week were to division opponents). The celebrations were muted and the team overall seemed just a step slower. But both teams seemed that way. The fans were loud, but the turkey from the day may have even slowed us down a bit.

A stat you’ve certainly heard already: The four TD passes were all to undrafted free agents. The Saints have made a living finding gems in the rough. The four guys who caught those passes will earn a combined $1.9 million this season. The guy who threw them those passes earns $1.6 million PER GAME.

We made it though a short week game with no new major injuries, but it should be noted that P.J. Williams spent a series on the sidelines with heat on his back. He seemed to have made a tackle and hurt himself. Marcus Davenport made his return and looked pretty good, but not explosive. He was noticeably favoring that foot with the toe injury. Mark Ingram seemed to have an injury late in the game also. He came off during our last offensive series and I don’t know that he went back in.

The Saints now have a week off, but instead of having that  nice big 10 day gap between a Thursday game and playing the following Sunday, they have another Thursday night game next week against Dallas. The Cowboys will be coming off two wins, having beaten Atlanta this past Sunday and Washington on Thanksgiving.

Next. Saints who sizzled in Week 12 win over Falcons. dark

The good news is after that game, the Saints will have that 10 day off period before facing Tampa, and then an eight day window before playing Carolina in a Monday night game. So they will go from playing three games in 11 days, to two games in 18 days. No doubt they’ll be up for the Dallas challenge next Thursday.