This was a very painful loss if you're a Saints fan, but a deserved one. When you allow Geno Smith to win a game by going 8 of 19 for 115 yards, that means you didn't stop the run and you turned the ball over. The quarterback play of the Jets was non existent and because of the Saints' mental mistakes it didn't matter. Chris Ivory finished with 139 yards on just 17 carries and that was just enough to hold off the Saints, coupled with two Drew Brees interceptions. A very disappointing loss against a weak opponent, but a lot of this has to fall on the Saints' play calling and execution. I thought both were very poor. The Saints are now 6-2 with both losses coming to AFC opponents on the road, though, so there's still a reason for hope! Remember they are still in first place in the NFC South. Here are my thoughts on the game:
- Chris Ivory has been mediocre all season but clearly he felt good and was hungry for revenge. In this game he looked to be in peak form. He ran all over the Saints and barked at their sideline all day. The Jets ran for 198 yards as a team. Tough to swallow but the reality is the run defense was atrocious in this game.
- The Saints passed 51 times and ran 13 times. I mean, how do you expect to win with that kind of play calling? I don't care what the Saints saw on tape that is way too big of a disaparity. And because there wasn't even the threat of a bad running play the Jets hit Brees 6 times and sacked him twice. Brees got really knocked around in this one and has to be sore.
- Nick Toon had two horrific drops. One deep ball that killed a drive and one out that popped up for an interception. Disaster game for him that killed the offense.
- The Saints got really banged up in this game. Graham seemed to hurt his wrist, but returned. Pierre Thomas and Curtis Lofton both limped off too before returning. Darren Sproles left very early with a concussion. Vaccaro was banged up too.
- If Travaris Cadet is the best thing the Saints can find as a replacement for Darren Sproles on kickoff returns than we shouldn't bother having a return man back there at all.
- The defense came up with a stop in clutch situations, the offense just couldn't get it done.
- The offensive line play was poor, but hard to blame them when every single play is a pass. Their job is made that much harder when your offense is so one dimensional.
- Sean Payton calls an end around to JOSHUA HILL on 4th and one inch. I'm sorry, but that's the worst play call of the Sean Payton era. There is no down/distance scenario where you run the ball on a reverse to your third string tight end. I'm sorry but that should never happen. Ever. Shameful decision and it killed the Saints' chances.
- Hartley missed a kick early and had every Saints fan ready to cut him… but give him credit, he hit a career long from 55 and a 43 yarder late to give the Saints a chance.
- Moving forward, it's clear to me this defense's achilles heel is stopping the run. On offense, the play calling needs to be more balanced. If you throw every play it becomes much easier to stop. That's on Sean Payton.
The Saints will waste no time forgetting this as they come back to New Orleans to face the Cowboys on Sunday Night next week for a critical matchup against an NFC contender (they are 5-4). That's a big one that the Saints need to go 7-2. Suddenly Carolina is 5-3 and just one game behind the Saints knocking on the door. This one stings to be sure, but before you start talking about abandoning ship – let's not forget the team is 6-2 and they are coming back to the Superdome. Let's see how they respond on Sunday night against the Cowboys at home.