Specifically, if there was blame to be assigned, Saints Coach Sean Payton said the best place for him to look was a mirror.
“I think early in the game, we had a little momentum,” he said. “That kind of slipped away toward the end of the second quarter and into the second half. Fundamentally, we’ve got to do a better job, starting with us as coaches.
“There are some things that we saw on this tape that were a little different than some of the prior games. Some of the base fundamentals of blocking, tackling, securing the football, proper depth on routes – those are some things that were apparent.
“I thought in the first half the clock was an issue. A lot of that is one me, getting the play in. That’s not something that’s good, obviously, and it’s not something that’s been like us. We’ve got to clean that up.
“It’s a tough loss and I said (Sunday), I thought the Jets deserved to win that game. They played better than we did. We’ve got to do a better job playing and coaching.”
The raw grading also included an unvarnished critique of the running game. Especially disappointing, Payton said, was the fact that the Jets were able to accumulate 198 yards and two touchdowns on 36 carries, using a stop-us-if-you-can approach.
“Stopping the run is important for us,” he said. “It starts with that defensively. The thing that’s disappointing about (Sunday) is we knew, getting off the bus, this was a team that was going to run the football. They knew they were going to run the football. I think everyone at MetLife Stadium knew they were going to run the football, and we weren’t able to stop them. That’s frustrating and we’ve got to look at why, and make those corrections.
“Conversely, we felt going in we were going to throw the ball more just because of the type of defense we were seeing. And actually, when we ran it, we ran it pretty efficiently.
“I didn’t call enough runs. That might have been because they were playing us in more of a pass mode, but our guys, with regards to the run and the opportunities we gave them, did a pretty good job and the backs did a pretty good job. That’s something that’s on me.”
The Saints finished with 41 yards on 13 carries. Absent two negative plays – tight end
He also said, in fairness, concern about the offensive line’s performance had to be lumped in with the totality of the day.
“The offensive line play got a lot of company with a lot of other groups,” he said. “I thought we blocked the run well. It became challenging for them with regard to the type of game we played.
“Is that an area where we want to be more consistent in? It is, and yet, it would be the same way on the other side of the ball with the defensive line play, and the same way with wide receiver, tight end, defensive backs. It would be real hard, looking at that tape that I just watched, to pull out a position group or omit coaches and specifically say, this is the reason they didn’t have success in New York.”