Week 2 was a mess for Payton and the Saints. Not only did they get throughly defeated by the upstart Carolina Panthers, but New Orleans was having to deal with some panic after a COVID-19 outbreak spread through the coaching staff and injuries hit the defensive side of the ball hard. Going to New England isn't going to make things much easier for the Saints.
QB Jameis Winston was pressured on 64 percent of his drop-backs last Sunday, a miserable performance for the offensive line, while getting sacked twice. Winston was also picked off twice and the team had just 80 passing yards on 11-of-22 completions. That was a far cry from the way they had played just a week prior in the destruction of the Packers.
The offense overall was just plain bad, picking up only 48 rushing yards on 17 attempts and only six total first downs the entire day. They also went 2 for 11 on third-down attempts.
Which team will show up against New England?
The Patriots absolutely destroyed the New York Jets rookie QB Zach Wilson in Week 2, getting pressure on 46 percent of his dropbacks. That dreadful performance by the offensive line led to four sacks and helped generate four interceptions from the young quarterback.
It's hard to play well when the team around you is dreadful. Winston is no rookie, but the results will be the same if the Saints offensive line provides the same protection it did in Carolina, which is to say almost none at all. The Patriots defensive line may feast upon a underperforming Saints offensive line if they don't get their act together fast.
Rookie QB Mac Jones seems to be on a short leash in terms of passing so far. Some of that is on him, but some of it is on conservative play-calling from offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. He's trying to simplify his offense for the young QB while still remaining effective. Some of it is also on the lack of protection to allow bigger plays to develop down the field, which has been a struggle for New England thus far.
I just can't trust the Saints now after last week's stinker. They looked incredible in Week 1, but now they have been hit with these off the field issues and looked like flaming trash in Week 2.
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