Down 26-17 with 6:12 remaining in the fourth quarter as they started a new drive from their own 15-yard-line, there had to be a feeling in the back of everyone’s minds that the New Orleans Saints were about to mount their comeback over the up-and-down New York Jets on the shoulders of methodical production from Drew Brees.
However, Brees and the Saints managed just a field goal on that drive. Then, after even forcing the Jets to a three-and-out on their subsequent drive, the Saints managed only four plays for a loss of nine yards on what turned out to be their final drive of a 26-20 loss, their second of the 2013 NFL season.
The Jets defense turned out to be the one of the toughest hurdles that the Saints have faced thus far this season where New Orleans has been one of the best teams and offenses in the league. As per usual, the Saints ar a top-three passing offense this season while being led by Brees and the crazy-productive Jimmy Graham, but they didn’t have enough gas to get past Rex Ryan and company.
Though the Saints were able to accrue 366 yards through the air and 407 total yards on the day, the Jets forced opportune turnovers and made stops at the most critical moments of the game. Part of that is New Orleans not being able to execute ideally, but part of it is just good execution on the part of the Jets.
I’m sure you could make a case that the Saints not coming through late in this game is a big deal or whatever, but it was ultimately the Jets defense that did most of the work here. Going forward, I don’t think there’s any reason to be concerned about the Saints. They are still highly productive and, when most games are on the line, you still have to expect them to get the job done.