There’s been plenty of discussion about “where it went wrong” for the New Orleans Saints on Monday Night football.
Their matchup with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers started off strong but fizzled in the end. There were a handful of questionable decisions and plays by the Saints that costed them the game.
In particular, Mark Ingram’s choice to go out of bounds just before the first-down marker late in the fourth quarter is under plenty of scrutiny.
Of course, it makes sense.
That play forced a fourth and one play where the Saints chose to throw the ball to Marquez Callaway for the first time all game. It landed incomplete. The clock stopped, and the Saints punted.
Saints’ HC Dennis Allen gave some reasoning behind Ingram’s decision today.
Dennis Allen said Mark Ingram tweaked his knee earlier in the game (it was a few players earlier) prior to the play where he went out short of the first down: "I think he kind of felt it right there and lost track of where the sticks were." #Saints— Jeff Nowak (@Jeff_Nowak) December 6, 2022
If you missed the play, you can check it out here. It does seem like Ingram pulled up a bit at the end.
That possibly could have been due to the injury he suffered just moments before.
Mark Ingram losing the game for the Saints pic.twitter.com/A0eEf9RnSF— Michael Cauble (@Cauble) December 6, 2022
Regardless, if Ingram was banged up, why was he the running back in the game on that play for the Saints?
You have Alvin Kamara on your roster for a reason. A leak-out route plays to his strengths on a play like that. There’s little doubt that he would have picked up the first down to keep the drive alive.
That probably would have sealed it for the Saints. Yet, he watched from the sideline.
It’s clear that the play and its consequences got to Ingram after the game. He was heartfelt on social media.
For the Saints, it was another blown opportunity for this season. They had a shot at the division, and they threw it away late in the game.
Now, the future in New Orleans only looms in a cloudy haze.