Studs and Duds from the Saints’ ugly 20-10 road loss to Steelers

The New Orleans Saints were looking for a bounce back game against a struggling Pittsburgh Steelers team, but did not find it as the team dropped the game 20-10 in a very frustrating performance. From coaching to execution, it was a day to forget for most of the roster. It wasn’t all bad, though, as there were a couple of bright spots to look at from the game. It does look clear that the team is not ready to compete for anything this year, despite a playoff appearance still within reach while sitting at 3-7.

Here are all of the standout performances from the loss, both good and bad:

Stud: Kaden Elliss

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Pete Werner being out was a very scary thing, but Kaden Elliss quickly soothed the feeling by having a fantastic showing in place of Werner. Elliss has been on the roster for a few years now, but being given a larger role this year has allowed him to finally shine. He filled all of the roles of a linebacker showing prowess in run defense, pass coverage and pass rushing. Seven tackles, a sack and a QB hit made for one of the best box scores of the day. He also had a forced fumble that ended up being recovered by the Steelers.

Dud: Coaching

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

It would be easy to give Andy Dalton a dud designation, but instead I’ll look at the coaches that continue to trot him out there ahead of a healthy Jameis Winston for no good reason. It was another troubling coaching performance that really puts the future of this franchise in doubt while current leadership is in place. Between using Dalton on QB sneaks instead of Taysom Hill and refusing to call plays for Alvin Kamara, this was a terrible offensive management game.

Studs: Tight Ends Juwan Johnson and Adam Trautman


Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

Adam Trautman and Juwan Johnson looked like the group that the team wanted when not targeting a tight end in the draft or free agency this off-season. Johnson looked like a real receiving threat and Trautman filled the role of a solid option when he’s not blocking.

Dud: CB Paulson Adebo

Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

Adebo has endured one crazy sophomore slump, as he looks unplayable at times. Of course, with Marshon Lattimore hurt, the team doesn’t have any other option than letting him take his lumps. If he isn’t getting beat by a receiver, he’s grabbing on for dear life and drawing a flag. Heading into the game, he ranked 112th out of 114th eligible cornerbacks according to Pro Football Focus. That ranking could realistically drop even further. Alontae Taylor didn’t have the cleanest day either, but at least looked passable in coverage on most plays.

Stud: P Blake Gillikin

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Gillikin’s down year has certainly been well-documented, but when he has a great performance we need to give him a shout out as well. It was a much needed bounce-back day for the punter, which included a perfect 58-yard punt that bounced perfectly out of bounds at the Steelers 2-yard line. Obviously you don’t want a punter to be one of your studs, but with the offense performing like they have recently it must be done.

Dud: Offensive Line

Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

The offensive line, though being without three starters for most of the day, was not acceptable. They were given a tough matchup against a Steelers line that is very talented, but they’re paid to do a job. A job that pretty much everyone completely failed to do. The rushing offense, while not given a ton of chances, had absolutely zero push to get anything done with. The pass rush wasn’t much better. The Saints need to get healthy quick, as it’s clear that their undrafted free agent littered depth isn’t enough to get the job done in a pinch.

Story originally appeared on Saints Wire