Oct 15, 2017; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton on the sidelines in the second half against the Detroit Lions at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Derek E. Hingle, USA Today Sports

Payton: Saints offense needs to find its rhythm again

Mark Menard
November 27, 2017 - 10:14 pm

Saints Coach Sean Payton joined Bobby Hebert and Deke Bellavia Monday night for his weekly WWL radio program to discuss his team’s loss to the Rams on Sunday and the upcoming NFC South battle with the division-rival Carolina Panthers.

Payton began by saying they need to take a hard look at the things that went wrong for the Saints in Los Angeles.

“When we finished with our meetings today and even in the morning to start,” Payton said. “It was let’s look at this game tape real closely, then let’s be ready to shift our focus quickly to Carolina, a divisional team that’s playing well. We’re going to have a chance to play at home in a significant game."

“That being said,” Payton continued, “there were a handful of things we did well defensively. There are some chunk plays we would like to have had back. Offensively we really struggled with any type of rhythm. We found ourselves in some of the longer third-down situations. We were I think three of 11 or three of 12. And when you have that type of third-down day, you’re not going to have a lot of plays, you’re not going to have a lot of rushes. There are a lot of things that kind of come with that. So we struggled to get into rhythm. We shot ourselves in the foot at times. But we’re going to have to rebound quickly and get ready to play a real good Carolina defense.”

Moving onto the Saints’ next opponent, Payton said the Panthers have made a living this season by controlling the football.

“Right now,” Payton said, “they’re leading the league in time of possession. So both teams would go into a game like this clearly with the emphasis on turnovers, clearly on time of possession. And generally that time of possession can begin to shift with the team that’s in the lead because you begin to manage the clock differently and really try to bleed the clock. But I think it’s significant. It’s something that in the first game, those key indicators went in our favor. But right now if you look in the last four weeks at the games Carolina’s won, they’re near the top of the league just in that month of football possessing it and protecting the football. And I know that complements the defense extremely well. If you’re a defender and you come off the field and you know your offense is going to have a six-, seven-, eight-play drive, those are snaps and minutes off the clock that you’re not defending. Overall, that’s just good team football.”

Payton and the Saints host the Carolina Panthers at 3:25 Sunday afternoon on WWL. Our coverage starts that morning at 11. You can hear the full audio of Payton’s appearance on the “Saints Coaches Show” by clicking here.


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