Fri, 02 Dec 2022

Saints look to end three-game losing skid, host Seahawks

Field Level Media
06 Oct 2022, 09:40 GMT+10

The Seattle Seahawks are still getting good quarterback play even without Russell Wilson.

Meanwhile, the New Orleans Saints aren't even sure who their quarterback will be when they host the Seahawks on Sunday.

Seattle's Geno Smith has been one of the most productive and efficient quarterbacksin the NFL as the successor to Wilson, who was traded to the Denver Broncos in the offseason.

Saints starting quarterback Jameis Winston has back and ankle injuries, which forced him to miss New Orleans' game against the Minnesota Vikings last week in London.

Head coach Dennis Allen said he thought Andy Dalton "played pretty well" as Winston's replacement but indicated that Winston's health will be the determining factor when it comes to who starts against Seattle (2-2). Winston did not practice Wednesday, nor did wide receiver Michael Thomas (foot).

Whoever it is that starts under center for the Saints (1-3) will be charged with trying to help end a three-game losing streak.

"We're evaluating everything," Allen said. "We've got to perform better and we've got to coach better. There's some things that we have to improve on and we all have to take ownership in that. It starts with me and works all the way down through the coaching staff, on to the players."

New Orleans has the worst turnover margin in the NFL (minus-seven) and has only managed to come up with four takeaways.

"We have to look at who is handling the ball. The problem's been a little bit, it's been a multitude of players," Allen said. "We are going to have to continue to evaluate that. We are going to have to put in some more turnover drills and things of that nature and try to emphasize the point that we have to protect the football."

Seattle has turned the ball over just six times -- three interceptions and three lost fumbles -- and has forced just as many turnovers.

Smith leads regular starters in the NFL with a completion percentage of 77.3 and has the third-highest passer rating (108).

"He literally does everything that (Wilson) does," Seahawks running back Rashaad Penny said of Smith, a nine-year veteran who backed up Wilson for two years. "He's hot right now, one of the hottest in the league."

Smith completed 23 of 30 passes for 320 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions in a 48-45 win at Detroit last week. He also rushed seven times for 49 yards and a touchdown.

"I can play better," Smith said. "I'm definitely not exceeding my expectations. I can play a lot better."

Penny rushed for 151 yards and two touchdowns against the Lions as the Seattle offense was able to overcome the team's defensive struggles.

The Seahawks are ranked 31st in total defense (428 yards a game), 29th in rush defense (154) and tied for 29th in pass defense (274).

"The explosive plays are giving (opponents) all kinds of opportunities that we can't give up," Seattle coach Pete Carroll said. "It's not any one thing. It's not the coverage that we're playing or it's not the style of stuff or any of that. We just have to execute better and not give up the yardage we're giving up."

--Field Level Media

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