The New Orleans Saints haven't gotten their 2022 season off to a very good start, and head coach Dennis Allen is suddenly under scrutiny as a potential scapegoat.
For what it's worth, other first-time head coaches are doing worse than Allen is. Lovie Smith and the Houston Texans haven't yet figured out how to use their offensive weapons, and Josh McDaniels of the Las Vegas Raiders holds the only 0-3 record in the league.
Allen clinched his first victory in Week 1 but has failed to produce results in Week 2 and Week 3. It's much too early to say his time in NOLA is over; however, it's only expected to see him come under fire for the Saints' painful and recurring offensive woes.
Week 3 marked the fourth time the Saints have been shut out in the first half since 2021, and the team's inability to start strong may indeed seem like an overall organizational issue.
The Saints failed to score until the fourth quarter in Sunday's loss to the Panthers, going three-and-out four times throughout the game and posting three turnovers.
Through three games of the season, NOLA has scored just 10 total points in the first half. Let that sink in. They've averaged 129 yards and 4.5 yards per play, which suggests that quarterback Jameis Winston simply isn't performing up to par.
Dennis Allen has to find a way to turn around Saints' pitiful start to the 2022 season
After Week 3, Allen told the media he isn't considering benching Winston at all, but if things continue trending downward for the Saints, Allen may soon regret hitching his wagon to the turnover-prone quarterback.
With the Saints' defense churning out elite performances, the offense yet again is dragging the team down to the bottom of the NFC South.
Winston has thrown more picks than touchdown passes and has been unable to sustain long drives or generate lasting chemistry with his receivers. Out of NOLA's 37 offensive drives, only six have ended in touchdowns; 16 have ended in punts.
Simply put, that's not the ratio you want to see from a renovated offense with talented playmakers like Alvin Kamara, Michael Thomas, and rookie Chris Olave.
Winston bears the brunt of the Saints' offensive issues, but Allen's play-calling arguably also draws controversy. Last season, Sean Payton somehow figured out how to rein in Winston's picks while allowing him to control the offense and drive downfield -- Allen has to find a way to do the same.
There's still time for Allen to right the ship, and he can start in Week 4 when the Saints take on the Vikings overseas.