HomeFootball DirtSaints remain in contention despite recent negativity

Saints remain in contention despite recent negativity

Published on

spot_img

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Just a couple weeks ago, fans in the Superdome were booing quarterback Derek Carr and some disgruntled spectators wore “Fire Dennis Allen” T-shirts to express their dissatisfaction with the New Orleans Saints’ second-year coach.

After two straight victories, the critics have quieted down — at least for the moment.

The Saints (7-7) are back at .500, and they control their playoff destiny with three games left.

So, it’s fair to say they didn’t allow the recent visible and audible negativity surrounding the team to drag them down.

“Our focus all along has really been kind of stick to our process,” Allen said Monday. “We know that we haven’t always played as well as I think we’re capable of playing. But our guys keep coming to work every day, we’re working extremely hard, and we’re trying to address issues and fix issues.

“I think we’ve addressed a few and corrected a few over the last couple weeks,” Allen added.

New Orleans’ past two victories have not exactly come against the cream of the NFL.

In Week 14, they defeated the visiting Carolina Panthers, who have the NFL’s worst record at 2-12. On Sunday, they beat the New York Giants, who are now 5-9 and all but mathematically out of playoff contention.

Then again, the Saints beat the Panthers by 22 points and won by 18 against a Giants squad that had come in on a three-game winning streak.

Carr had one of his most efficient games the season on Sunday, even without top receiver Chris Olave.

“This performance is what we have earned,” Carr said. “The hard work pays off. And as a team and an offense, it makes you happy.”

None of the three teams left on New Orleans’ schedule is currently above .500. Two of them — the Los Angeles Rams and Tampa Bay Buccaneers — are 7-7. The other is Atlanta (6-8).

“We are still a confident team and a confident group,” safety Tyrann Mathieu said. “When you get to the back end of the season, you want to be able to play well and win games. A lot of times it doesn’t matter how you win it, just that you get wins.”

WHAT’S WORKING

The defense hasn’t allowed a touchdown in two games and has accounted for 11 sacks during that span, matching the number of sacks the Saints had over nine games from Weeks 4 through 13.

The Saints also have scored touchdowns in nine of their past 10 red-zone opportunities — a vast improvement over the first 11 games, when they were 17 of 40.

WHAT NEEDS HELP

The Saints were penalized six times for 58 yards, the ninth time they’ve been penalized for 50 or more yards in a game. They’ve been penalized for 70 or more yards five times, maxing out at 102.

STOCK UP

Tanoh Kpassagnon had a career-high three sacks against the Giants after being credited with just a half-sack in his nine other games this season. His opportunities as a pass rusher have increased lately because franchise all-time sack leader Cameron Jordan has been playing through an ankle injury.

STOCK DOWN

JT Gray has been a reliable special teams leader for years, but did not have one of his best games on Sunday. He was penalized for roughing the punter, gifting the Giants a first down that led to a field goal.

INJURIES

CB Marshon Lattimore and WR Michael Thomas would be eligible for activation from injured reserve this week, but Allen indicated that neither is ready yet to return to practice. He did, however, express optimism that they might play again before the end of the season.

Olave (ankle) and RT Ryan Ramczyk (knee) could potentially play this week. Jordan hasn’t let his ankle injury cost him a game yet. DE Carl Granderson, the team sack leader, injured his shoulder on Sunday but is expected to continue practicing. S Lonnie Johnson has a knee injury that Allen said could cause an extended absence. The Saints are hoping RB Kendre Miller (ankle), DE Isaiah Foskey Quadricep) and DE Payton Turner (who is practicing but remains on injured reserve while recovering from an early-season toe injury) are getting closer to playing again.

KEY NUMBER

6 — The number of games the Saints have won against teams that currently have losing records.

NEXT STEPS

The Saints end a short week with a flight to the West Coast to visit the Los Angeles Rams on Thursday night. After that, the Saints finish with a pair of divisional games against Tampa Bay and Atlanta.

___

AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/NFL

Include this script after the second paragraph:

Please include this script after 6th paragraph:

Please include this tagline to the end of all articles: EaglesBuzz.com: Your Premier Source for Unrivaled Philadelphia Eagles Coverage – Breaking News, Insights, and Everything Green!

Latest articles

Lions Exploring Kicker Options

Since the departure of Matt Prater following the 2020 NFL season, the Lions have...

Potential Trade Target: Tennessee Titans Wide Receiver Treylon Burks

Just about a year ago, the Titans expressed contentment with their wide receiver group...

The most recent news about the Steelers’ offensive line

The Steelers offensive line performed well in 2023, ranking ninth in sacks allowed and...

J.J. McCarthy, Rome Odunze added to the teams of Bears, Lions, Vikings

Bears Bears first-round WR Rome Odunze spoke about his relationship with first-round QB Caleb Williams...

More like this

Potential Trade Target: Tennessee Titans Wide Receiver Treylon Burks

Just about a year ago, the Titans expressed contentment with their wide receiver group...

The most recent news about the Steelers’ offensive line

The Steelers offensive line performed well in 2023, ranking ninth in sacks allowed and...

Ravens Announce Multiple Front Office Promotions

Much like their roster and coaching staff, the 2023 Ravens saw their front office...