1 WHAT WE LEARNED
The Saints are good, but not good enough to overcome a mountain of issues on the road. WR Marques Colston (knee) was inactive going in, RB Darren Sproles (concussion) was lost on New Orleans’ first drive, both rendering parts of the Saints’ playbook unusuable. New Orleans was minus-2 in turnover margin, got outrushed 198-41 and were a feeble 3 of 11 on third-down conversions. Aside from the loss itself, the most troubling aspects of the game for the Saints was probably their inability to stop the run or keep Drew Brees upright. The Jets couldn’t win if rookie QB Geno Smith had to beat the Saints with his arm, but he didn’t have to.
2 TRENDING NOW
With NFL roster limitations you often can’t keep every player you like. That was certainly the case with RB Chris Ivory, who the Saints sent packing to the Jets in a draft-day deal. Sunday, Ivory tormented New Orleans with that decision, rushing for 139 yards on just 18 carries. Ivory’s rushing total stood out in stark relief against a Saints team that managed to net just 41 total yards, a figure shrunk in part by the fourth quarter 8-yard loss on a reverse by tight end Josh Hill on a fourth-and-inches gamble at the Jets’ 36. The fact that Sproles was unavailable basically the entire game hurt the Saints, but it’s hard to imagine anyone they have rushing for 139 yards.
3 FINAL THOUGHTS
The Jets were the team that lost 49-9 at Cincinnati last week, right? It’s a sobering reminder that in the NFL nothing can be taken for granted. That New Orleans is 6-2 midway through the season is still an enviable and surprising record, but like LSU’s two losses both teams are saddled with regrets and “what could have beens” over their negative outcomes. Credit the Jets with overcoming a body blow to their collective self confidence served up by the Bengals, but shame on the Saints because the better team didn’t win Sunday. Now the Saints return home to with a virtual must-win mandate against Dallas.