The New Orleans Saints absorbed their sixth loss of the year after they lost to the Baltimore Ravens, 27-13, at home in Week 9 of the 2022 NFL season. At 3-6, the Saints are in third place in the NFC South. Here are the four Saints most to blame for their Week 9 loss vs. the Ravens.
The Saints faced a harder opponent in the Ravens and their MVP-caliber quarterback Lamar Jackson after playing their most complete game of the season against the Los Angeles Raiders in Week 8. The Saints were attempting to stay pace with the Atlanta Falcons and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in their division.
The Saints, of course, fell at home to the Ravens. Not surprisingly, the atmosphere in the locker room and stadium was stale, and the Saints’ quarterbacking is once more under scrutiny. Take note that in this game, New Orleans was 3-of-11 on third downs and 0-for-2 in the red zone. It was certainly a tough game, which was exacerbated by most of the crowd leaving for the exits earlier than usual.
Let us look at the four Saints most to blame for their Week 9 loss vs. the Ravens.
— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) November 8, 2022
4. P Blake Gillikin
Saints punter Blake Gillikin’s second season has been quite disappointing thus far. He has some amazing punts left in him, but he’s been just too inconsistent. One such instance was when he kicked a 38-yard punt out of bounds to the Ravens’ 37-yard line. This resulted in a field goal for Baltimore. Should the Saints consider replacing him already? Maybe not yet, but they should put him on a much shorter leash by now. We’ll see how it goes for him in the second half of the season.
3. RB Alvin Kamara
Usually reliable running back Alvin Kamara carried just nine times for 30 yards in this disappointing Monday night loss. He did add three catches for 32 yards on four targets.
Still, Kamara failed to really get going on the ground. This performance matched his season low in carries while also gaining the fewest yards. He appeared to be on pace in the second and third quarters, with big gains of 10, nine, and six yards, but the Saints inexplicably abandoned their ground game to try their luck passing the ball. Well, that didn’t work out too well.
Of course, Kamara can also be part of the Saints’ air attack. Sadly, that was also a letdown as his three catches were his lowest total since Week 3. New Orleans QB Andy Dalton, in fact, was just unable to get the Saints’ offense going, as only Chris Olave had more than three receptions in the game.
Don’t forget as well that Kamara is in some hot water off the field right now.
2. OC Pete Carmichael
As much as we want to pass all the blame on Dalton — which we won’t shy away from in a bit — we also cannot avoid discussing Saints offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael. Yes, some aspects have worked for Carmichael and the Saints, but mostly his play-calling has been erratic this season.
The reality is that the Saints offense is just simply not working well enough right now. Alvin Kamara, Taysom Hill, and Chris Olave have all been shining lights. However, the offensive as a whole is poor. Third downs, in particular, have been very difficult. The offensive line has also been poor at halting the pass rush. And once again, they struggled in the red zone, as seen by their need to settle for a field goal following three Andy Dalton incompletions on the last drive of the first half. All these just exemplified how Pete Carmichael’s offense has been below par.
1. QB Andy Dalton
For a while, there it actually looked like head coach Dennis Allen made a good move to put Andy Dalton as the team’s starter. Very quickly in Week 9, however, Dalton came crashing back down to Earth.
He was under a lot of strain throughout the evening and couldn’t manage the offense properly. For instance, on a crucial red zone possession, he missed a number of endzone throws and appeared uneasy and out of control. As many predicted, Dalton can easily put away a win when everything is going perfectly. On the flip side, he is not the most reliable when it comes to pulling a team back into a game or helping the offense claw its way back from a deficit.
It’s no wonder that many fans have called for “blowing everything up” in order to rebuild the Saints roster gradually. At the very least, the team can start over at quarterback, which is exactly what New Orleans should do next summer.
Whatever the cause, Dalton just continues to perplex during primetime games. This is very concerning given that the Saints’ most crucial game of the year is coming up in Tampa on Monday night in Week 13. Remember that Dalton is now 6-20 in primetime games in his career. That is one of the worst statistics for a quarterback since 2000. Jameis Winston should be fully recovered by now, and if Dalton continues to struggle in non-primetime games, the Saints may need to make a change.