Saints Lose Miserable Thanksgiving Game at Home to Buffalo 31-6
The New Orleans Saints were dominated by the Buffalo Bills 31-6 in the Superdome on Thanksgiving night.
The Saints fell to 5-6 with the loss, and they've lost four straight games. With how many pivotal players the team was missing on offense, they weren't ever able to get anything going against the AFC-contending Bills defense. It was a demoralizing loss for a team that has fallen apart in recent weeks.
The Saints offense got the ball to start, but they quickly went three-and-out and punted.
The Bills methodically went down the field against the New Orleans defense, and Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen completed a seven-yard touchdown pass to tight end Dawson Knox. The Bills went up 7-0. After the Saints punted, Buffalo also punted thanks to a sack by defensive end Carl Granderson on third down.
On the next drive, New Orleans drove into Bills territory. On fourth-and-two at Buffalo's 41, the Saints went for it. However, the offensive line wasn't ready for the snap and running back Tony Jones Jr. was stuffed for a five yard loss. New Orleans turned the ball over on downs.
Buffalo tacked on a field goal to make it 10-0, and the Saints punted yet again.
This time, the Saints defense stepped up with their first turnover of the night. New Orleans cornerback Bradley Roby intercepted a ball from Allen to give the offense another chance before halftime.
They managed to gain only two yards in three plays and attempted a fake punt with a throw from punter Blake Gillikin which sailed the intended receiver. It was another turnover on downs and a waste of great field position.
The Bills drove into the red zone at the very end of the first half, but linebacker Kwon Alexander came away with the Saints second interception of the first half to keep them from extending their lead. New Orleans went into halftime down 10-0 despite the putrid offensive performance.
In the first half, the Saints offense managed only four first downs and 64 yards on 27 plays. The only reason the game was close was thanks to the two interceptions by the defense.
NBC didn't show the planned halftime tribute for legendary quarterback Drew Brees, but the Saints official Twitter account posted it for fans to see. Brees led the famous "Who Dat" chant for the fans at the Superdome.
Buffalo opened the second half with another touchdown drive to extend the lead to three possessions at 17-0. Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs burned Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore with an excellent route for a touchdown
The uninspired Saints offense went three-and-out and punted on their first drive of the second half.
After driving deep into New Orleans territory, Buffalo decided to go for it on fourth-and-two at the Saints 24, and Allen threw his third touchdown of the night. Lattimore fell down on the coverage and the blowout was officially on.
In what has been a tradition during the three-game losing streak, the Saints offense finally got a drive going late in the third quarter after falling behind by multiple possessions. On the first play of the fourth, quarterback Trevor Siemian threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to tight end Nick Vannett. For the 10th straight attempt since 2018, they failed the two-point conversion and the score was 24-6.
The Saints defense got their first stop of the second half and forced a Buffalo punt. New Orleans went three-and-out in response, and the Bills officially put the game away with a four-play, 51-yard touchdown drive which made it 31-6.
In response, Siemian threw an interception. Buffalo benched Allen with the game out of reach, bringing in back-up quarterback Mitch Trubisky.
The Bills punted and the Saints ran out the clock, losing their fourth straight game.
The Saints offense finished the game with 12 first downs and 190 total yards on 57 plays. Jones was their leading rusher with 27 yards on 16 carries for 1.7 yards per attempt. Siemian completed 17 of his 29 attempts for 163 yards, one touchdown, and an interception.
Up next, New Orleans hosts the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday, Dec. 2 at 7:20 p.m. The Cowboys have lost three of their last four games.