While much of that can be accredited to several factors on both sides of the ball, the truth is that K Garrett Hartley also played a part in the loss missing a 26-yard field goal that would’ve given the team chances to make a rally late in the fourth quarter.
And apparently the team has had enough with Hartley’s struggles, and they are prepared to move on from him with only two weeks left in the regular season.
Per reports, the Saints have decided to cut ties with Hartley and they are widely expected to sign veteran kicker Shayne Graham – who was already with the team in November trying out – to take his place.
Hartley is in the midst of his worst season from a statistical point of view, converting only 73 percent of his attempts and he has been struggling all year long. The Saints thought about replacing him early in the season and brought up to five different kickers to see if anyone was able to take his place but decided to hang on to him. However, it seems that Hartley is no longer a reliable option for coach Sean Payton, and the team has reportedly moved on from him.
For the Saints this could end up being a total game changer. Since their offense is one of the best in the NFL, having a reliable kicker can often be the difference between a close win and a tight loss. Since that’s a luxury they can’t afford to have during the postseason, New Orleans has clearly made the right move here.