3 takeaways from Saints embarrassing week 12 loss to the Bills
The New Orleans Saints hosted the Buffalo Bills on Thanksgiving night and it did not go well with the team losing 31-6. On a night where Drew Brees was being celebrated at halftime, the Saints completely crapped the bed and looked horrendous.
The loss drops NOLA to 5-6 after sitting at 5-2 less than a month ago. It’s all unraveled way too quickly and at this point, New Orleans looks far from being a playoff team. Heck, it was so bad that Mitchell Trubisky stepped in at quarterback for the Bills with seven minutes remaining!
This game never looked good for the Saints. Buffalo went up 7-0 pretty early on in the first quarter and led 10-0 at the half. It should have been at least 16-0 (potentially 24-0) but the Saints defense rose to the occasion, picking off Josh Allen twice. That made the halftime score of 10-0 look respectable but it was anything but for those of us who actually watched the game.
Let’s check out some takeaways from this Thanksgiving route.
Another first quarter without points
For the fourth straight game, New Orleans’ offense failed to score in the first quarter of action. As Rod Walker notes in the tweet below, this is the seventh time this season where the black and gold have failed to get any points on the board in the first quarter.
This is obviously bad for a number of reasons but when watching this offense operate, is it really all that surprising? The answer is no… No, it is not.
It’s time to bench Siemian and put Hill in
I was a Trevor Siemian defender in his first two starts for the Saints but the Eagles game was when I changed my tune. He’s not a bad quarterback but he’s a backup for a reason and he’s not the right guy for this offense.
Fans chanted during the game that they wanted to see Hill at quarterback and honestly — Can you blame them? At this point, what do the Saints have to lose by starting Hill? If they’re not going to put him in, they should at least activate Ian Book and see what the rookie out of Notre Dame has to offer.
The Siemian experience was fine for a few weeks but he’s not going to win this team any games moving forward. It’s time to bench him and put in either Hill or Book.
Run game was abysmal, as expected
It’s hard to be too upset about the NOLA run game situation when you consider that both Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram weren’t active due to injuries. Tony Jones Jr. and Ty Montgomery were the starters at running back so naturally, not much was going to get done there.
After the first half, New Orleans had just 14 yards rushing and it didn’t get much better in the second half, especially with the team being down by 20+ points. Running the ball in that situation isn’t ideal. They finished with 21 yards off of 17 carries.
Saints can’t convert on 2-point conversions
For whatever reason, NOLA cannot find a way to convert on two-point conversions, as this game marked the 10th straight time they’ve failed to execute in those situations. The loss to the Titans came down to a two-point conversion and New Orleans has found themselves in key moments where two points would do wonders for them but they can’t figure out how to get it done.
This was a really gross game for the New Orleans Saints but it’s not like we didn’t see it coming. They were without Kamara, Ingram, and Ryan Ramczyk on offense and without Marcus Davenport and Tanoh Kpassagnon on defense, two key pass-rushers for this D.
The Saints might be hovering on the brink of playoff contention but they shouldn’t. This game showed this team is far from being any kind of contender. I’d rather they get a higher draft pick at this point if I’m being entirely honest.
One thing’s for sure though — the New Orleans Saints have a lot to figure out after dropping to 5-6.