New Orleans Saints feel they have identified issues that slow offense, and can correct them (1 Viewer)

John DeShazier | Senior Writer -

The fix may be in for the New Orleans Saints offense.

The unit that averaged 37.3 points over the first 11 games has scored 50 points total – 16.7 per game – in the last three. The Saints (11-2) still won two of the three and muscled to within a victory of securing the NFC’s top seed for the playoffs. But it has been uncharacteristic to watch one of the most prolific offenses in the league average 273.3 yards (172 passing), and convert 13 of 36 chances (36 percent) on third down, in its last three games.

In past seasons, the Saints have emerged intact and re-established efficiency on the other side of offensive ruts, and the expectation is that will be the case this season.

“We’ve got a handful (of errors), not as much communication-related but nonetheless, things that tangibly we can look at and clean up,” Coach Sean Payton said Wednesday. “And then certainly, some of the penalties (nine, totaling 80 yards against Carolina). Those would be specifically things that you’d notice.”

Among the offensive penalties, there was a pass interference by rookie receiver Keith Kirkwood; a false start by running back Alvin Kamara; a dead-ball personal foul by left guard Andrus Peat; an unnecessary roughness penalty by receiver Michael Thomas that offset a Carolina face mask, and negated a 20-yard completion to Thomas; an illegal formation that erased a 16-yard completion to Thomas; a false start by right guard Larry Warford; and a holding penalty by Tayson Hill that erased an 18-yard carry by Kamara on a direct snap. Payton said the penalty attributed to Hill wasn’t an infraction. ...

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Andrus Whitewing

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