Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NFC South [Print without images]

Monday, November 4, 2013
Payton: Entire stadium knew Jets would run

By Mike Triplett

METAIRIE, La. -- As I wrote earlier, New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton said it was impossible to single out any one area that deserved blame for Sunday's 26-20 loss to the New York Jets, since there were fundamental breakdowns across the board.

However, the Saints' run defense was clearly near the top of that list of offenders.

“The thing that's disappointing about yesterday is we knew getting off the bus this is a team that was gonna run the football,” Payton said. “They knew they were gonna run the football. I think everyone at MetLife Stadium knew they were gonna run the football. And we weren't able to stop them. That's frustrating, and we've got to figure out why and make those corrections.”

New York's Chris Ivory
Chris Ivory gained 109 of his 139 yards on three carries against the Saints.
The Saints gave up 198 rushing yards to the Jets. But almost all of the damage came on three plays. Running back Chris Ivory busted loose for gains of 52, 30 and 27 yards -- going virtually untouched on all three runs.

When asked how much of that was simply Ivory having a great game, Saints linebacker Curtis Lofton wasn't about to surrender any of the blame.

“I wouldn't say that. He had great numbers stat-wise, but there wasn't anything in his way most of the time he ran,” Lofton said. “That's more so (our fault). We didn't do our jobs or execute the way we should execute.”

The Saints either got blocked out of the way or took poor angles to the runner in every level of their defense. And they got caught over-pursuing on blitzes on the first two runs (the 27-yarder in the first quarter and the 52-yarder in the second quarter).

Those types of breakdowns haven't been a consistent problem for the Saints this year, even though they rank 26th in rushing yards allowed (121.3 per game). They have occasionally let some long gains slip through -- but never to this degree. And never against an opponent that was so obviously planning to run against them all day long.

Payton pointed to the 52-yard run while the Jets were backed up with a second-and-12 from their own 2-yard line as one of the two biggest turning points in the game.

He just as easily could've mentioned Ivory's 30-yard run on third-and-2 late in the third quarter.

“What went wrong was, I'd say it was a couple of things. Misalignment, not being lined up, not having people in the right spots, and just missing tackles, too, which led to big plays and getting gashed,” Lofton said. “That's something we haven't done in the previous games and it reared its head this game. We've got to get back to the basics and get ready for Dallas this weekend.”

Here's a specific breakdown from the tape of those three runs: