Saints' offense disappears, playoff hopes fade along with it (1 Viewer)

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Full Story - Bismark Tribune

METAIRIE, La. (AP) — The mistake-prone New Orleans Saints can add a suddenly slumping offense to the list of reasons they will likely miss the playoffs for the third consecutive year.

Drew Brees threw three interceptions for the second straight week in a 16-11 loss Sunday at Tampa Bay while receiving little help from his offensive teammates, leaving the Saints (5-8) grappling Monday with the frustration of another lost season. New Orleans, which has not been above .500 since 2013, trails the Buccaneers and Atlanta Falcons in the NFC South by three games with three weeks left in the regular season.

By the time the Saints kick off against Arizona in a late-afternoon game on Sunday, they could be eliminated from the NFC wild card picture. And a victory by either the Bucs or the Falcons on Sunday would end their division title hopes as well.

The Saints face this disappointing scenario despite their formerly leaky defense holding Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston to no rushing or passing touchdowns for the first time in his college or professional career. New Orleans limited the Bucs to 270 yards without starting safety Kenny Vaccaro, who began serving a four-game suspension for using the banned substance Adderall.

"It's been the same story all season long," said veteran safety Roman Harper, who started and played 51 snaps in place of Vaccaro. "When one unit plays well, we have another unit that does not. We haven't been able to put a complete game together with all three units playing well. If we did that, we probably would have been pretty good."

By GUERRY SMITH Associated Press

Full Story - Bismark Tribune
 

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