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What we learned, what's trending and final thoughts from the Saints' fifth straight loss

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BY DAVID GRUNFELD | DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY - NOLA.com

BY LUKE JOHNSON | Staff writer | NOLA.com

Well, that was kind of fun for about three quarters. Then the game went off the rails in a hurry.

The New Orleans Saints lost their fifth straight game. The offensive spark they were hoping to find with Taysom Hill at quarterback looked like it might exist for a little while, until it was emphatically snuffed out in the fourth quarter. Here’s how it happened.

What we learned​

The Saints offense still isn’t very good, but it was at least entertaining with Taysom Hill running the show. Hill was playing with a partially torn plantar fascia, and he spent the majority of the game with his fingers taped up on his throwing hand after he took a shot in the first quarter. He had moments of brilliance, including a spot where he hurdled Cowboys safety Damontae Kazee in the middle of the field. But he also had a rough game as a passer, turning the ball over four times and completing just 46.3% of his passes. ...

Full Story - NOLA.com

Cowboys at Saints score: Dallas picks off New Orleans, Taysom Hill to snap two-game losing skid

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Hill tossed four interceptions in his first start behind center this season

By Patrik Walker

Things didn't start out on an ideal note for either offense, with both teams stumbling due to a mix of good defense and poor execution en route to the Dallas Cowboys handing the New Orleans Saints a 27-17 loss at Caesars Superdome. It was Dak Prescott and Co. who drew first blood, on a drive in the first quarter that looked a lot like the usually prolific group the NFL has become accustomed to seeing from Dallas -- big plays coming from both Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb (who both returned in Week 13) and capped off by a twisting touchdown catch by Michael Gallup.

Not to be outdone, Taysom Hill went back to work with the goal of making a case for himself as permanent starter for the Saints, and he got help from wideout Lil'Jordan Humphrey on a 24-yard touchdown to open the second quarter. But just when you thought it would become a barnburner, things cooled down offensively once again, and the Cowboys are currently nursing a six-point lead the Saints hope they can prevent from becoming anything more -- especially considering Dallas will have the first offensive possession of the second half.

Hill and the Saints threatened to hit pay dirt for the second time in the first half but rookie sensation Micah Parsons and the Cowboys' defense would have none of it. Parsons dropped back in coverage on second-and-10 from Dallas' 26-yard line to deliver a pass break up that nearly landed harmlessly onto the turf, if not for safety Jayron Kearse diving while simultaneously dragging both feet to secure an eye-popping interception at Dallas' 5-yard line, grabbing a takeaway that served as a gut punch to Hill. ...

Full Story - CBS Sports

Saints vs Cowboys Postgame Show Week 13 | 2021 NFL Thursday Night Football

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New Orleans Saints YouTube Channel

Dallas Cowboys at New Orleans Saints Week 13 Postgame Show. Get Thursday Night Football game news, analysis, highlights, and postgame interviews from Head Coach Sean Payton and Saints players.

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Latest Saints News

Spiraling Saints are closer to a top-10 draft pick than a playoff seed

  • News source: John Sigler
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A five-game losing skid will do a lot to change the complexion of your season. But that’s where the New Orleans Saints stand after Thursday night’s loss to the Dallas Cowboys, which dropped them to a 5-7 record.

It’s somewhere they’ve been before. The Saints have had a 5-7 record by Week 13 four times in the Sean Payton era, finishing each season with a mediocre 7-9 record. But this sustained series of losses is new and reversing course will be really difficult. They aren’t going to improve overnight and rip off five wins to close the season.

Right now the Saints are projected to receive...
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Ezekiel Elliott won’t blame knee for low production, but “it’ll be good to get a break” before Week 14

  • News source: Josh Alper
  • Replies: 0
  • Views: 2
Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott has resisted any suggestion that he take some time off to rest his ailing knee, but Thursday night’s game was another reminder of why others have suggested it.

Elliott ran 13 times for 45 yards, which marked his fourth straight game of less than 50 rushing yards while being held under four yards per carry. Elliott remained steadfast when it came to finding other reasons to explain his low production.

Elliott said “it was a little tough” going against the Saints because they “have a good front” and the team did have a hard time getting going on the...
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Injuries don’t excuse Saints losses, but expose roster shortcomings

  • News source: Les East
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NEW ORLEANS – The New Orleans Saints are beat up.

They are missing their starting quarterback, their best offensive player, their top wide receiver and tight end, their starting tackles among three missing starters on the offensive line, two key defensive linemen, one of their top defensive backs and their Pro Bowl kicker.

I might have missed somebody.

And yet …

Their back-to-back abysmal offensive performances on Thursday Night Football cannot be adequately explained merely by the absence of what admittedly is an inordinate number of key players missing due to injury.

The injuries...
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Forecast: Unrelenting bad luck destroys 2021 Saints

  • News source: New Orleans Saints - WWL TV
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NEW ORLEANS — The 2021 New Orleans Saints season has fallen into such disaster, despair, and sadness we watched a Saints quarterback throw 4 interceptions, and it felt like a GIGANTIC improvement on offense from the previous 2 weeks — and it was.

The Saints have gone from 5-2 and fighting to be the best team in the NFC to, “Sure Taysom Hill was terrible against the Dallas Cowboys but at least he's interesting to watch.”

Everybody slows down to peak at the car crash or something. The Saints let a winnable game slip away because they were missing 7 starters on offense and being a...
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DeMarcus Lawrence: It was electric to be back out there

  • News source: Josh Alper
  • Replies: 0
  • Views: 15
Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence was in the lineup on Thursday night for the first time since breaking his foot in a practice before Week Two and he showed why the team was so eager to have him back.

Lawrence knocked down two passes, had a quarterback hit, and recorded three tackles while playing just over half of the team’s defensive snaps. Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn said, via Calvin Watkins of the Dallas Morning News, that he expected Lawrence to show some rust after such a long absence, but “he did not” and Lawrence also felt happy with how things went in his return.

“It...
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Saints Season Officially Circling the Drain

  • News source: John Hendrix
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What they're saying nationally about the Saints loss to the Cowboys

  • News source: New Orleans Saints - WWL TV
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NEW ORLEANS — The Saints can't catch a break. Relying on their quarterback with a foot injury, they saw him suffer a substantial injury to his throwing hand early. How much of a factor that played in him throwing four interceptions is unknown, but it didn't help.

Here's what some of the writers around the country had to say about the team's first five-game losing streak in the Sean Payton era.

- Dallas defense does in Saints - Patrik Walker, CBS Sports

- Cowboys take advantage of Taysom Hill INTs - Jori Epstein, USA Today

- Cowboys offense still struggles, but D tops Saints - Ryan...
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Dak Prescott: We have to be more sound, more focused on offense

  • News source: Josh Alper
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The Cowboys had to deal with a lot in the days leading up to Thursday’s game against the Saints and they navigated it well enough to get a 27-17 win that lifts them to 8-4 on the season.

After the win, quarterback Dak Prescott said “so many people stepped up” to help the team to a victory but he also acknowledged that “it didn’t go the way we hoped and planned it out.” The offense went 2-of-13 on third downs and picked up just five first downs in the second half, which turned out to be enough to get a win thanks to a 58-yard touchdown run by Tony Pollard and a defense that intercepted...
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Taysom Hill: We did some things well, obviously tough to win with four interceptions

  • News source: Josh Alper
  • Replies: 0
  • Views: 24
The Saints’ decision to turn to Taysom Hill at quarterback brought some explosiveness to the offense, but it ultimately wasn’t enough to keep them from their first five-game losing streak under head coach Sean Payton.

They had seven plays that went for at least 23 plays, which is only one less than they had in their last three games, and they put up the most yards they’ve gained since Jameis Winston was still their quarterback in Week Four. Those positives are a footnote to the game, however, and the downside of Hill’s performance is why that’s the case.

Hill threw four interceptions...
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Dan Quinn: It was just a cool win

  • News source: Josh Alper
  • Replies: 0
  • Views: 36
The Cowboys spent the days leading up to their Thursday night game against the Saints scrambling to fill coaching responsibilities with head coach Mike McCarthy and five other members of his staff missing because of COVID-19 protocols.

It was a process they handled well enough to beat the Saints 27-17 to snap a two-game losing streak and take another step toward an NFC East title. It wasn’t a sparkling performance and McCarthy called it an “ugly win” on the phone, but he also called it a “great experience” for a team that’s likely to encounter other adversity over the final five games of...
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Sean Payton got no explanation for blindside block call that went against the Saints

  • News source: Michael David Smith
  • Replies: 0
  • Views: 87
Saints coach Sean Payton was furious about a blindside block call that went against his team on Thursday Night Football, but after the game he could say little about it.

Payton said he got no explanation for the penalty and wasn’t sure why it was called.

“I’m not real familiar with that type of block on that situation. It’s unfamiliar,” Payton said.

Payton was a member of the league’s competition committee when the NFL expanded the blindside block rule in 2019, so he surely knows the rule. That he says he’s not familiar with the call strongly suggests that he thinks the call was...
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Taysom Hill needed to splint finger after collision

  • News source: Curtis Crabtree
  • Replies: 0
  • Views: 53
New Orleans Saints quarterback Taysom Hill had to put a splint on his injured middle finger for the remainder of Thursday night’s game against the Dallas Cowboys after having his hand collide with a defender in the first half.

“I went to throw a ball and I hit it on a hand,” Hill told reporters after the game. “It took a little getting used to. Any time you put something on a finger, traction on the ball and stuff, but it was OK.

Hill ended up throwing four interceptions on the night with three coming late in the fourth quarter. However, head coach Sean Payton said he thought Hill played...
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Amari Cooper says it was tough missing two games for Cowboys

  • News source: Curtis Crabtree
  • Replies: 0
  • Views: 19
Dallas Cowboys receiver Amari Cooper had two catches for 41 yards in his return to action after a two-game absence due to a case of COVID-19.

Cooper was unvaccinated and was required to miss 10 days, which ruled him out for both of the team’s previous two games against the Kansas City Chiefs and Las Vegas Raiders.

Cooper told reporters after the game that the last two weeks had a been a bit rough for him and he believed he could have played if not for the league’s protocols.

“It was tough. [Michael] Jordan played with the flu. That’s how I looked at it,” Cooper said in quotes...
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The Saints mostly kept the Cowboys explosive offense in check — but the Cowboys got theirs

  • News source: BY LUKE JOHNSON | Staff writer
  • Replies: 0
  • Views: 23
The Dallas Cowboys and their high-wire offensive act ran 65 plays in the Caesars Superdome Thursday night, and for the most part they found some tough sledding against a game New Orleans Saints defense.

They went three and out on six of their 13 possessions in which they were actually attempting to move the football. Another drive stalled out after 20 yards and six plays when the Cowboys turned it over on downs. Even in a losing effort, head coach Sean Payton was mostly pleased with the way his defense showed up.

“I thought we did a lot of good things defensively relative to how we...
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Jeff Duncan: Taysom Hill can't save the Saints from avoiding their fifth consecutive loss

  • News source: BY JEFF DUNCAN | SPORTS COLUMNIST
  • Replies: 0
  • Views: 42
The Taysom Hill era of New Orleans Saints football began Thursday night the same way the Trevor Siemian era ended — with a loss.

The 27-17 setback to the Dallas Cowboys was the Saints’ fifth consecutive, and in many ways, it looked numbingly similar to the others before it.

The Saints fell behind early and futilely fought and clawed in catch-up mode the rest of the way. Along the way, they made enough mistakes — a dropped pass here, an ill-timed penalty there, a momentum-sapping big play allowed on defense — to sink any realistic comeback hopes. In the end, their efforts fell short, just...
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Current NFL playoff picture: How things look after Cowboys' win over Saints

  • News source: www.espn.com - New Orleans Saints
  • Replies: 0
  • Views: 58
Your Thursday night NFL playoff picture update for Week 13, following the Cowboys-Saints game, goes a little like this:

This weekend's games won't really change the current trajectory of either team. When Week 13 is completed, the Cowboys will still be in a commanding spot in their division, and the Saints will be looking up at too many teams in the NFC wild-card race. What follows is a look at where the NFL stands with six weeks remaining until the playoffs begin. As always, we lay out the possibilities and likelihoods. Our next update will post after Sunday night's game between the...
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