After 12 games, it’s safe to say that consistency is not an attribute of this year’s New Orleans Saints squad.
Despite outgaining the Detroit Lions (9-3) in total yards and going perfect in the red zone, New Orleans (5-7) played from behind all day and dropped their third straight game.
“There were a lot of things I was encouraged by in the game, but we got punched in the mouth in the beginning,” head coach Dennis Allen said, referring to Detroit jumping out to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter. “I thought our guys fought back and battled back, but obviously, we understand there is no participation trophy in this league.”
In the second half, the Saints scored three unanswered touchdowns to pull within three and make the score 24-21. They then had the ball at midfield in the fourth quarter, trailing 33-28, but turned it over on downs as the Lions were able to run out the clock.
Highlights of the day
New Orleans running back Alvin Kamara had 109 yards on 20 touches with two rushing touchdowns. Kamara set the franchise record with 53 career rushing scores, previously held by former teammate Mark Ingram.
Saints tight end Jimmy Graham caught his second pass of the season for a six-yard touchdown. Graham’s only other reception was for an eight-yard touchdown against Green Bay on Sept. 24. Two catches, two touchdowns. Not bad for the veteran backup.
Troubles of the day
That was the biggest trouble of the day for the Saints, with defensive play a close second. On the offense’s first play of the game, Derek Carr threw an interception. Later, he lost a fumble at a crucial point in the fourth quarter before being knocked out due to a multitude of injuries. It was reported after the game that Carr was in concussion protocol.
The line failed to pressure Detroit quarterback Jared Goff as the secondary couldn’t stop the veteran from finding his receivers. On the day, Goff threw for 213 yards on 16 of 25 passing with no turnovers.
The Saints, who are now one game out of first place in the league’s weakest division, will host the last-place Carolina Panthers (1-11) on Sunday, Dec. 10.