The Saints' first half was dominant, with quarterback Derek Carr leading the offense. Carr and New Orleans's offense was able to move the ball downfield with a great passing attack. However, Carr got injured early in the third quarter as Rashan Gary sacked him. Carr was ruled out of the game and didn't return. He suffered a sprained AC joint and is week-to-week going forward.
The Saints had Jameis Winston take over at quarterback for the remainder of the game, but the offense was never able to get going. While the offense struggled, the defense held strong through the third quarter. However, it all changed in the fourth quarter as Jordan Love and the Packers offense began to find a rhythm. Love made big play after big play, as New Orleans' defense could not get a stop.
Green Bay was able to get the win in the final minutes of the game.
With that said, here are two Saints to blame for a brutal loss to the Packers.
2. Kicker Blake Grupe
Although New Orleans' offense struggled mightily in the second half, they got in field goal range on their final drive. With a little over a minute left in the game, the Saints lined up for a 46-yard field goal. This brought on Blake Grupe, the rookie undrafted kicker, with a chance to take the lead as New Orleans trailed 18-17.
Grupe missed the kick wide right, which lost the game for the Saints as they didn't have the timeouts to stop Green Bay from kneeling the game out. While there were plenty of other opportunities for New Orleans to win the game, they had a chance with the field goal, and Grupe missed it.
He deserves some of the blame for the loss.
1. Saints offensive line
The offensive line is what cost the Saints the most in this game. Green Bay was able to put a ton of pressure on the quarterback and limit the run game. Rashan Gary led the Packers' pass rush with three sacks, while Kenny Clark also had a sack. Green Bay also had five tackles for loss and six quarterback hits.
The inability to protect the quarterback well in this game led to the Packers getting stops when it mattered most. It also led to Carr getting sacked by Gary on a play that would sideline him for at least the rest of the game.
Regardless of who is at quarterback, it's important for them to have time in the pocket, or it can lead to a stagnant offense, which is what happened in the second half.
They also could not ignite the rushing attack, as New Orleans could not run the ball consistently. The Saints rushed for 77 yards on 22 carries for zero touchdowns. The rushing workload was divided between Tony Jones Jr., Kendre Miller, and Taysom Hill. Although these aren't established rushers, the offensive line's inability to open up holes for the running backs led to their struggles running the ball.
If New Orleans was able to protect the quarterback and open up the run game, it could've helped them emerge victorious.
It was a tough loss for the Saints, and they now could be without Carr as he deals with a shoulder injury. They will look to bounce back on Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.