To say the New Orleans Saints 2022 campaign has been 'up and down' so far would be considered an understatement.  The 2-5 Saints face the 2-4 Las Vegas Raiders in a yawner this Sunday at noon.

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The Saints are struggling in their first year post Sean Payton.   New Heach Coach Dennis Allen has been with the franchise on and off since 2006, most recently as Defensive Coordinator.  Allen just announced that veteran quarterback Andy Dalton will take the reigns permanently starting this week against the Raiders. Jameis Winston has been struggling with injuries since the beginning of the season, but has since made a full return to practice.

New Orleans Saints v Green Bay Packers
Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Even though the Saints are currently 2-5, Dalton helped to improve the Saints’ offense to third-best in the NFL with 398 yards per game. In four starts, Dalton has thrown for 946 yards, 7 touchdowns, and has thrown 4 interceptions. But, as with ANY job, Dalton's starting position is only as secure as his performance. Saints analyst Mike Detillier warned that if the production decreases and turnovers continue, Dalton could be at risk of returning to backup.

“I think as long as the production’s there and you’re not turning over the football, he sticks with Dalton. Again, this is a production league. If you don’t get it done then he’s going to have a hook with Dalton and go with Jameis Winston.”


Defensive Woes

In addition to Winston, the Saints have been plagued with a plethora of injured players, including running back Alvin Kamara, wide receiver Michael Thomas, defensive back Marshon Lattimore, and wide receiver Jarvis Landry, to name just a few. But more than just injuries to key players, a big part of the Saints problematic start is the under-performance of their defense.

When Allen was defensive coordinator, the Saints defense was ranked top in the NFC in points allowed. But since Allen has had to focus on the overall picture, not just the defense, the Saints defensive production has dropped dramatically.

Detellier continued:

“A team that gave up the least amount of points in 2022 in the NFC- they are getting gashed in both the running game and also via the pass. They have to get better on the defensive side of the football.”


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