The New Orleans Saints fell to 1-4 after an ugly loss to the Philadelphia Eagles; the final score was 39-17. I couldn’t have been more wrong in my prediction for this game. I expected the Saints to come out with energy and desire. I was expecting a great performance from both sides of the ball. Three problems stood out to me: too many turnovers, the lack of a pass rush, and a worn out defense.

The absence of Terron Armstead and Jahri Evans definitely had a significant impact on the game. The offensive line was leaky at best. Drew Brees was constantly pressured. I cringed every time I saw Eagles coming at Brees. Unfortunately for the Saints, Drew Brees fumbled the ball twice. Both of those fumbles were the result of pressure from the Eagles’ defense. Rookie Andrus Peat was beaten several times. Strief’s age seems to be more apparent than ever.

Drew Brees didn’t look terrible, but he didn’t look great. He completed 26 of 43 passes and threw one interception. He ended the day with 335 yards. At times, I questioned his decision making process. He threw into several double coverages when it looked like there was no chance of a completion. At the goal line, Brees threw a fading pass to the 5’11” Willie Snead. Did I mention Snead had two guys on him? Now it is very possible that the play called for Brees to throw the ball to Snead regardless of the situation; if that was the case, it was a terrible play call.

Both Cooks and Snead had relatively good games. Snead caught 6 passes for 141 yards, and Cooks caught 5 passes for 107 yards and a touchdown. Snead continues to impress. Spiller was rarely used in the passing game.

Willie Snead

Willie Snead

Now, let’s get on to the biggest disappointment, the defense. I was expecting the defense to play well against a struggling Eagles’ offense; especially after the return of several keep defensive players. The defense allowed 519 yards; prior to today the Eagles averaged 295 yards a game. Big difference. The Eagles’ running backs ran for 186 yards on 34 carries. The Saints failed to sack Sam Bradford. If the Saints’ defense wants any chance they will need to pressure the opposing quarterback.

The defense was worn down rather quickly by the Eagles’ offense. The Eagles’ had possession for a total of 34:02 minutes. The Saints’ secondary definitely struggled to guard tight ends Zach Ertz and Brent Celek. Towards the end of the game, the defense simply looked tired.

On a more positive note, both Brandon Browner and Delvin Breaux tallied an interception. Both of the interceptions were made in the end zone. Despite the fact that the defense forced two early turnovers, the offense didn’t quite capitalize as they should have.

At this point, all we can do is look forward to the next week. Are the playoffs likely out of reach now? Well, yes. I hope to see improvement. Improvement is more important than wins and losses at this point. The youth on the defensive side of the ball need to continue to get better. Hey, who knows, maybe the Saints will have a top-10 defense next year. Offensively, most of the problems stem from the offensive line. Brees needs better protection and more time. Give Brees time and he will make a play. With the number of hits he is taking this year, it is hard to imagine him playing next year. Willie Snead had another great game. After posting more than 100 receiving yards, Cooks may be ready to explode.

The New Orleans Saints will be taking on the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday at the Superdome. Make sure to check in later this week for more articles! There will be analysis of a few important plays during the Eagles-Saints game and a look at the next matchup!

First Glance New Orleans Saints Fall to the Philadelphia Eagles

First Glance New Orleans Saints Fall to the Philadelphia Eagles