By the numbers: Saints offense hits some historic lows in loss to Carolina

New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton, second from left, watches players warm up before an...
New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton, second from left, watches players warm up before an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers, Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)(Phelan M. Ebenhack | AP)
Published: Sep. 19, 2021 at 6:37 PM CDT
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Numbers don’t always tell the whole story, but it doesn’t take a long look at a box score to see why the Saints lost to the Panthers.

They were outgained 383 yards to 128 yards, the lowest total ever for the Sean Payton-coached Saints. But most telling was the time of possession. It was always going to be an uphill battle with the Saints with the Panthers offense on the field for more than 38 minutes.

“The time of possession was way slanted the other way this week, and it’s hard to win games that way,” says Payton.

It wasn’t just yardage representing a historic low. Jameis Winston, believe it or not, hit a new career-low with a passer rating of 26.9. This comes on the heels of his third-highest rating of 130.8 a week ago against Green Bay.

The same goes for Alvin Kamara on the ground. His five yards rushing in a full game are his lowest since week two of his rookie season.

“I don’t think we ever even got the run game going really,” says Kamara. “I don’t know how many attempts we had, but we’ve got to get in a better rhythm. I think it starts up front with our O-line. We talk about running the ball. We have to have opportunity for it to start up front. So it is what it is.”

“I think rhythm is a big part of offensive succes,” says Winston. “We will find that. We will find a way to play the football that we like to play, and we’re going to learn from this one.”

Regardless of the statistical lows for Payton, Winston and Kamara, it’s the loss that stings and matters most. After Sunday, not many people are going to remember those numbers in a historic context. The lessons learned against the Panthers should be putting an emphasis on communication up front and getting back to being the aggressor at the point of attack.

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