The New Orleans Saints couldn't take advantage of a tremendous performance from the defense and went on to lose 13-0 to the San Francisco 49ers. There was some good in this game from the Saints but it was mostly bad and that's what we'll be tackling in this post.
Let's start with the winners from Week 12's loss to the 49ers.
Aside from some bad penalties on Chris Harris, the defense did its part in this one. They only surrendered 13 points and didn't allow any one player on the 49ers' offense to have a massive day. That was a tall task too considering how talented that offense is.
I'm not going to do separate entries for the defensive players but Kaden Elliss, Paulson Adebo, and Zack Baun deserved a shoutout for their efforts in this one. Elliss continues to be a baller in Pete Werner's absence, Adebo has bounced back after a rough start to the season, and Baun showed that he can be a reliable linebacker after all. Who'd have thunk it?
Once again, the rookie out of Ohio State continues to show why the Saints were wise to trade up to draft him in the first round. He should have had a massive catch that set NOLA up to score but for whatever reason, it was ruled not a catch because of course it was!
Olave still had an impressive outing though, grabbing five catches for 62 yards and averaging 12.4 yards per catch. Olave is consistently good, which is something the Saints did not have at the wide receiver spot last season.
Maybe the Saints should have traded Kamara to the Bills when they came calling at the trade deadline. The former third-round pick has not been himself this season and the evidence of that is the number of fumbles he's had this year (four). He fumbled twice in this game with one coming on the Saints' opening drive and the other when they were in the red zone and close to scoring.
For a team that has relied so heavily on Kamara in the past, he crushed them badly in this game. It's been rough to see how poorly he's performed this season.
Typically, when Hill gets involved in the offense, good things tend to happen. That was not the case this week, as Hill was stuffed on practically every run he attempted, totaling just 13 yards on six carries with a long of six yards. He attempted one pass and it was the one to Chris Olave that should have been a completion but wasn't because the NFL still somehow doesn't know what a catch is.
Lutz didn't play at all last year so he deserves some slack. We knew there'd be rust from the former dominant kicker but the Saints needed points on Sunday and when called upon, he couldn't deliver. He missed the one attempt he was asked to make. When the offense performs as poorly as it did on Sunday, Lutz has to make those kicks and he didn't come through.
You know it's a bad day at the office when Andy freaking Dalton leads the Saints in rushing yards. The quarterback dashed for 21 yards, which, again, LED THE TEAM. Hill and Kamara tied for the next-most with 13 yards on the ground. Not ideal for an offense that tends to pride itself on running the ball and playing stout defense... at least one of those happened on Sunday!
Who or what would you add to the Saints' winners and losers from Week 12?