The New Orleans Saints struggle to get anything going in the first quarter, oftentimes falling behind by as many as 17 points.
They then dominate in the second quarter. The Saints are among the top-three teams in the NFL in second-quarter scoring. Having to gain ground in the second quarter has been far too consistent of a problem and their issues kicking off games needs to be addressed.
Since the sample size for the Saints 2020 season is just five games given their Week 6 bye, it’s hard to assume this trend will continue throughout the year, but there are a few startling things about this pattern.
One thing is that the Saints have fallen behind at some point in each of their first five games. Their last two weeks heading into their bye the Saints were down double digits in the first half. Yes, they came back to win both. That’s not the point.
Teams like Detroit and Los Angeles will let a team comeback. When the Saints get into more difficult matchups and then the postseason, teams like San Francisco or Green Bay won’t like them get away with such a poor start.
The Saints rank third, averaging 12.4 points per second quarter. What’s odd is that they score in the quarter in a hurry, controlling the clock for just over 50 percent. They control just under 50 percent in the first quarter and their points are cut by over half.
It’s more than just getting the ball to kick off the game or not. The Saints must be better in first quarters moving forward, so they can relieve their second-quarter stress.
The passion and energy need to be there from the start, and it just hasn’t been so far. That partially falls on all parts of the team, from Sean Payton to Drew Brees and even into the defensive leaders.
New Orleans must fix their struggles to start the game, but at the very least, it’s positive that they have been able to bounce back, currently sitting at 3-2 and taking on Carolina in Week 7.