The New Orleans Saints were one of the surprise teams at the start of the 2023 season. They were well on their way to a 3-0 start to the season against the Green Bay Packers, with a 17-point lead entering the fourth quarter on Sunday afternoon. If you turned away and thought it was over, you should know better. Then Derek Carr was sacked in the third quarter, left the game with a shoulder injury and did not return. From there, New Orleans continued to take the lead with a 17-0 lead and allow Green Bay to come from behind to score 18 unanswered points to win.
New Orleans had a chance to regain the lead, but missed a 46-yard field goal with just over a minute left in regulation. That was the Packers’ one first comeback win from such a deficit since Week 1 of the 2018 season. The Saints were in full control of this game, then Carr went down and all hope disappeared.
Jameis Winston replaced Carr and played well. Winston was 10 of 16 passing for 101 yards. Not great, but almost as good as Carr, who was 13 of 18 for 103 and one touchdown throw. The biggest surprise was how the Saints defense dwindled in the fourth quarter. In the first two weeks of the season, the teams had not scored more than 17 points against New Orleans. On Sunday against Green Bay, the Packers dropped 18 straight points in the fourth quarter.
It wasn’t a high-octane thriller, but it was a collapse of epic proportions in the face of good defense so far. You hold a team to zero points and hardly allow them to do anything for three quarters, only to suddenly be unable to stop a cold in the last 15 minutes. For these first three quarters it was
The The Saints appeared poised to be among the undefeated teams in the NFL. Then, in an instant, the whole dynamic swung in their favor packerand the home advantage came into play.
For these Saints, it’s all about defense, no matter who’s leading the offense. The NFC South isn’t considered one of the tougher divisions, but if New Orleans falls asleep at the wheel like this defensively, it’s going to be another long season filled with heartbreaking losses.
https://deadspin.com/saints-packers-defense-derek-carr-injury-1850869302 The Saints defense collapses against the Packers after Derek Carr’s injury