The New Orleans Saints have a solid team when you look at them on paper. As the Saints are learning the hard way though, games are played on the field.
The excitement surrounding this 2023 season from New Orleans Saints fans was completely justifiable during the offseason. They were able to add a veteran quarterback in Derek Carr to a solid roster complete with playmakers galore, most of which on the younger side, and a veteran defense that has shown that they can be elite. The NFC as a whole was seen as a bit weaker than normal, with the NFC South specifically being especially emblematic of that. It's safe to say, things haven't gone as expected so far for the Saints though.
With sole possession of first place in the NFC South on the line, the Saints traveled to the ATL to take on their biggest rival, the Atlanta Falcons. On paper, especially at quarterbacks, the Saints should have been able to take care of business.
Away from the paper and onto the field, things were much different.
The Saints were defeated by a score of 24-15, in a game that never felt like the Saints had any control of, and therein lies the problem. When you look at the names on the roster, the Saints look like a playoff team. Then you pull the lenses back and realize they are lacking somewhat in the trenches, and it's been showing on the field. After all, that's where games are won and lost.
The Saints had a golden opportunity with their solid roster to take control of their division but squandered it. While the trenches have underperformed, the (albeit banged up) Derek Carr has to wear a lot of this as well, as does Dennis Allen's coaching staff.
The main point is, no matter what our expectations were when looking at the 2023 New Orleans Saints on paper were, they have to be tempered. As it stands, this team simply isn't very good, and time is running out to turn things around, especially with the growing list of injuries, which is a whole separate discussion in itself.