Saints News

Dennis Allen leads the negatives in Saints winners and losers from Week 10

New Orleans Saints v Pittsburgh Steelers
New Orleans Saints v Pittsburgh Steelers / Justin K. Aller/GettyImages
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Stop me if you've heard this one before -- The New Orleans Saints lost another football game and the sloppy penalties were a big reason why.

If the penalties are happening at the beginning of the season, sure it's frustrating, but at least it's a little more understandable. When they're still happening in Week 10 of the season, that's when the blame can squarely be placed on the coaching staff.

Let's start with there with our weekly winners and losers.

Losers

Dennis Allen

I'll admit that I was fine with the Saints hiring Allen. It made sense to give him a chance to lead the team after he turned the defense around and led the team to a big win over the Buccaneers in primetime last year while Sean Payton was out with COVID.

Ten weeks into the season, however, it's safe to say that Allen isn't the answer.

Remember the penalty schpeal I just made? That blame can be laid at the feet of Allen because the team is continuing to make dumb mistakes. He needs to nip that in the bud and has failed to do so. He belongs on this list and the Saints need to part ways with him.

Offensive Line

Injuries were to blame for the poor performance of the o-line but I can't write this article and not mention how bad this unit was. James Hurst, Andrus Peat, and Erik McCoy were all dinged up, meaning that we saw Landon Young, Lewis Kidd, and Josh Andrews starting on the offensive line and that's not something you want to see.

While Andy Dalton didn't get sacked as much as I would have predicted coming into this game, he was pressured constantly and the run game couldn't get anything going.

Andy Dalton

Speaking of Dalton, it's time for the Saints to turn the offense back over to Jameis Winston. Dalton deserved to be the starter while the Saints were winning and the offense was playing better but now that neither of those things are happening, there's no reason not to make the switch.

Dalton had a bad offensive line in front of him but he hasn't been playing well. He threw two picks in this game and just didn't put the team in a position to win the ball game.

Run Defense

We knew that the Saints run defense was going to struggle this week with key guys like Marcus Davenport and Pete Werner out and because, well -- they've struggled all season long. They definitely crapped the bed on Sunday, surrendering over 200 yards on the ground to the Steelers with potential first-round bust Najee Harris nearly getting 100 yards rushing.

The defense hasn't been what we were all expecting it to be this year but the run defense has really been brutal to watch.

Winners

Juwan Johnson

Johnson doesn't get enough praise for what he's accomplished this year. The once wide receiver turned tight end has fully grabbed onto the TE1 spot and has proven that he deserves the job. He finished this game with five catches for 44 yards and a touchdown. It's been fun watching him ball out.

Kaden Elliss

Elliss proves that talented players are still available in the seventh round of the draft. He stepped into a starting role on Sunday with Werner out and played well, tallying seven tackles, one tackle for loss, and one sack. He forced a fumble in the second half but because it's the Saints defense, the good guys couldn't come up with the recovery. That's not Elliss' fault though. He was excellent.

Pass Rush

It's hard to lose games when the pass rush comes to play but the Saints found a way. Despite the team not having a great pass-rushing presence throughout the season, they destroyed the Steelers offensive line and put Kenny Pickett on the turf six times. That was about the only good from the defense other than Elliss, of course.

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This was another gross game to watch and now the Saints sit at 3-7 on the year. The Buccaneers won their game in Germany to move to 5-5, so it's going to be even harder for New Orleans to stay in the running for the NFC South title.

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