Saints lose third game in a row for the first time since 2016

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It’s been a while since the New Orleans Saints were this bad. They’ve lost their third game in a row for the first time since 2016, falling 40-29 to the Philadelphia Eagles after previous two-point losses to the Tennessee Titans and Atlanta Falcons. They lost their first three games to open the 2016 season and haven’t looked back, but now they’re in rough shape.

I’ve written before about how the 2017 to 2020 span was a golden age of Saints football — they won more games in those four years than they had in some decades, and never lost more than two games in a row. But they’ve been depleted by injuries, retirements, and salary cap considerations, and now they’re facing an uphill battle after back-to-back-to-back losses.

In fact, the Saints have only logged back-to-back losses twice since that three-game series in 2016 — Weeks 14 and 15 in 2020, plus Weeks 1 and 2 in 2017. It’s unusual to see Sean Payton’s squad unable to shake back. But years of neglectful drafting rendered their depth chart on offense paper-thin, making for a perfect storm once Trevor Siemian took over at quarterback. He’s not skilled enough to lift up those around him. And his supporting cast isn’t strong enough to prop him up.

Inadequate play on offense bleeds over into unfavorable situations on defense and heightened pressure on special teams. Like every other team they’re only as strong as their weakest link. And a whole phase of the game is very, very weak in New Orleans.

What’s next? The Saints have got to hurry up and get back to New Orleans so they can regroup before a prime-time matchup against the Buffalo Bills on Thanksgiving, with Drew Brees on the call for NBC. Hopefully the Saints don’t embarrass him in front of company.

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