The Saints are in uncharted territory as they’ve lost their fifth straight game for the first time in the Sean Payton era, the last time being 2005. The Saints drop to 5-7 and are hanging onto a very thin threat of playoff hopes. After a winnable loss to the Cowboys, the Saints will need to essentially win out if they want any chance at making the playoffs.

Now after Thursday Night the team will look to recover and get some key players back within the next 8-9 day period. 

We saw some flashes of explosion in the offense Thursday night with Hill starting. He definitely had some questionable throws that weren’t the best decisions or placement, but a lot of that had to do with the splint on his middle finger on his throwing hand. He looked confident and very capable of getting the ball to his guys prior to the splint in the first half, after that it looked difficult for Hill to throw the ball. 

The offensive explosion and flashy plays throughout the game came from Hill’s legs. His legs and versatility was the spark and momentum the Saints were looking for. He had 100 rushing yards and played a huge role as to why the offense was capable of moving the ball. 

Sean Payton did a good job of getting his receivers open and scheming up the offense. There was some questionable play calls, but overall a solid game plan just needs better execution. 

Where the Saints offense went wrong were the mistakes, and the “blind side penalty”. First, the four interceptions is unacceptable. The dropped pass by Stills is out of the control of Hill, a tipped ball is good defensive play, the third pick was a bad decision and the worst throw from Hill of the night, and the final throw was also a smart play from the defensive lineman but the ball didn’t have any zip on it making it easy to be intercepted. The offense also never took advantage of the opportunities that were presented to them and led to their own downfall. 

Then the blind side penalty just sucked the life out of the offense. They had momentum, a first down and that call just set off the Saints ticking time bomb. 

The defense played to their usual level, good enough to win the game. Obviously they had some miscues and missed some assignments but they played lights out for majority of the game. 

Marshon Lattimore definitely looked like the elite version of Marshon Lattimore. He, like everyone, had a few miscues but he played top tier defense on Lamb, Cooper, and company. P.J Williams also looked like a solid part of the team filling in for CGJ for the final week before his return.

The run defense did their job, aside from a 50 yard touchdown run from Tony Pollard. The pass rush was lacking pressure and definitely missed guys like Davenport and Kpassagnon. Dennis Allen did a good job of disguising blitzes and forcing pressure that way. 

What this game has shown is that this offense is capable of moving the ball with Hill as a playmaker. As for quarterback, if the Saints want to make the playoffs, and they do, Hill gives them the best shot. He performed better than Trevor Siemian has been the past few weeks, Hill able to get some rhythm with the offense outside of the fourth quarter. Now with Hill’s injury being severe we don’t know who the future quarterback is for the remainder of the season.

We’ll find out next week if these injuries will hold Hill back from playing again this season. The overall lining is that this offense is better with Hill, but now with him probably out, that leaves Siemian and Book. Someone has to step up if this team wants any chance of finishing the season strong.

Quick little note, Blake Gillikin is a stud. That’s it. 

Written By Kadin Janisch

If you need to contact me email me at whodattnation@gmail.com and I’ll try to get back to you.

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