Payton laments lack of balance by Saints offense

December 01, 2018 - 1:01 pm

By: Jordan Fiegel

The New Orleans Saints 10 game win streak came to an end in Dallas against the Cowboys Thursday night. The #1 offense in the NFL only scored 10 points, none of which came in the first half.

The Saints offense struggled against a swarming Dallas defense, gaining just 176 yards and averaging 3.6 yards per play. New Orleans came in with one of the best third down conversion percentages in the league, but the Saints only converted 3-11 third downs.

“We didn’t have the balance that we’ve had in prior games,” Saints head coach Sean Payton said. “We struggled running the ball with any consistency.” The Saints rushed for 65 yards, their lowest total since rushing for 62 yards against the Cleveland Browns in Week 2.

Payton continued about what that does to an offense. “And then we didn’t want to get into a one-dimensional game. I think the common thread without seeing any of the game tape would be that we were behind the chains a lot. We were in seven-or-more, eight-or-more.”

When the Saints were forced into third and long situations, the Cowboys defense were able to pin their ears back and get after quarterback Drew Brees. Dallas sacked Brees twice and picked up five total QB hits. Payton again pointed out that's what happens when a team becomes one-dimensional.

“It’s part of the challenge each week. Force a team to become one-dimensional. Offensively, you want to be able to have balance. Those are some of the things you work to correct and we’ve got to do a better job with as coaches to correct. It was a good game by them, though.”

While the offense was not able to get much going, the Saints defense, on the other hand, had a solid game. They shut the Cowboys out in the second half and held them to 13 total points.

“They had some big plays, getting the ball back for us, some big stops,” said Payton. “Certainly enough for us to win.” That was a sentiment that Bobby Hebert shared, saying he would have been surprised had someone told him the Saints would give up 13 points and still lose.

Payton is pleased with how the defense has grown in recent weeks. “Going forward, we keep getting better on that side of the ball.”

The Saints will get some extra rest after playing 3 games in 11. Their next match-up is not until December 9th at home against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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