Three and out

1 WHAT WE LEARNED

The Saints appear to be regressing on the road. We all know how good New Orleans is in New Orleans, 7-0 this season. But the Saints have now lost back-to-back road games at Seattle and St. Louis by a combined score of 61-23, trailing both for the entire game. The Saints are now 3-4 on the road this season in what officially qualifies as an alarming trend with one immense road trip remaining next Sunday at the Carolina Panthers, who bounced back from their 31-13 loss at New Orleans last week to beat the New York Jets 30-20 and again force a tie with the Saints atop the NFC South.

2 TRENDING NOW

A complete defeat. Coaches drone on about being successful in all three phases of the game, but the Saints’ struggles on offense, defense and special teams contributed to their demise Sunday. They lost the turnover battle 3-0 (they are 4-0 this season when not turning it over), failed to crack 21 points for the fifth time in seven road games (New Orleans has scored at least 23 in every home game), failed to sack Rams QB Kellen Clemens (New Orleans had 43 sacks entering Sunday’s game) and had two crucial field goal misses by Garrett Hartley (one blocked by former LSU DT Michael Brockers).

3 FINAL THOUGHTS

Absolutely nothing went right for the Saints on Sunday, including not getting losses from Dallas and Arizona to help them clinch a playoff berth. New Orleans will probably make it, but the Saints had loftier ambitions than that. Plus you have to harp on the fact that New Orleans has played poorly on the road so often it needs as much home field as it can get to make a deep playoff run. Only three teams (Seattle, Denver, Kansas City) have better records than the 10-4 Saints, but games like this make you question whether New Orleans is truly an elite NFL team.

Scott Rabalais