The New Orleans Saints were up 16-3 over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with about six minutes remaining looking to keep their season alive. Saints fans were having a blast trolling the Bucs on social media and everyone was having fun.
Yeah, about that...
In case you turned the game off before it was over, the Saints choked. They lost 17-16 to a Bucs team that they had handled all night long. Yet in the biggest moments of the game, they choked and allowed Tampa to come back and win the game.
I really hate that we have to talk about this game for over a week since the BYE is coming up but let's get it over with, shall we? Here are the winners and losers.
Look, the Saints offense deserves its fair share of the blame in this colossal meltdown but Dalton was not the reason New Orleans lost this game. He had some dimes that kept getting dropped, including a massive dropped pass to Taysom Hill in the fourth quarter that would have helped them bleed the clock. Jarvis Landry also dropped what should have been a walk-in touchdown. His playmakers weren't helping him on Monday.
After not forcing a turnover for what felt like an eternity, the Saints finally got one! Davis picked off Tom Brady in the first half and the team was able to capitalize with a field goal. Davis has been one of the few bright spots for this team in 2022.
"I've got the need -- The need for Shaheed!"
This has become a popular motto for Saints fans and it's true! Shaheed has been awesome and he was carrying the Saints offense for most of this game. He finished with four catches for 75 yards and a 42-yard punt return that the offense then did nothing with.
In what's been an otherwise awful season for the Saints, Rashid Shaheed is worth watching.
There was no reason the Saints should have lost this game but they did and who does that fall on? It falls on coaching! Dennis Allen has now suffered his worst loss as the head coach of the Saints and he's proven each and every week that he is not good enough to be a head coach. Some guys are good coordinators but not good coaches and Allen fits that bill.
Speaking of coordinators, what the heck was with the play-calling, Pete Carmichael? That final "drive" the Saints had on offense was embarrassing. Somehow, Dalton still nearly bailed out his offensive coordinator but Taysom Hill dropped the ball, which was the cherry on top of a crappy ending.
Everyone on this coaching staff needs to be fired.
I'm glad that Ingram is healthy and all but the guy has no place on this team anymore. Not only is he not good but his bone-headed decision to run out of bounds ONE YARD SHY of the first-down marker flipped the momentum and basically handed the Bucs the win.
Yup, even with NOLA up 16-3, we all knew we'd be circling back to that mistake. Ingram has been in the league for over 10 years -- He shouldn't be making these kinds of mistakes.
People were rightfully excited about Landry joining the Saints in the offseason but outside of an explosive Week 1 performance, what has the guy done? In this game, he had just two catches for 14 yards and dropped what should have been a walk-in touchdown. That would have probably put the game away with how badly the Bucs looked throughout most of the game (except for when it mattered).
The Saints should have traded Kamara to the Bills when the offer was out there because he has not been good. Kamara had just 26 yards on the ground and a whopping 11 yards through the air. He honestly looked like a guy who was trying so hard not to fumble and that hurt his production mightily. I don't know if this is the version we're going to see of him moving forward but he hasn't been good this year and the Saints need him to be great.
The bottom line is that the Saints dominated this game for three quarters but somehow choked away a 13-point lead and lost the game. Fans are going to be mad about this one for awhile and rightfully so.