Saints coach Dennis Allen not ready to bench QB Andy Dalton for Jameis Winston after latest loss

With Sunday’s 20-10 loss to Pittsburgh, New Orleans fell to 3-7 on the season, its worst start in the first 10 games since 2005, before Drew Brees became a Saint.

Coach Dennis Allen, who should be on the hot seat as a one-and-done candidate after weekly mismanagement, wasn’t ready to make any declarations about the starting quarterback position after Andy Dalton’s latest dud.

“I know we’re all looking for answers there, but I’m not going to go there right now,” Allen said after the game. “We’ll evaluate where we’re at, and we’ll have a plan for this coming-up week.”

Dalton completed 17 of 27 passes for 174 yards and two interceptions while taking two sacks. It marked the QB’s third straight game with fewer than 230 passing yards and his seventh INT in seven starts (six in the last four games).

The Saints battled back to tie the game at 10 at halftime, but the offense couldn’t move the ball in the final two quarters. New Orleans generated 24 net yards in five second-half drives with a lone first down and two fourth-quarter interceptions.

“Performance wasn’t good enough, really in all phases,” Allen said. “We didn’t play well enough. We didn’t coach well enough. We have to do a better job. We fought ourselves back, got back into the game at halftime, felt like we were in a good position, and we really just didn’t do anything in the second half. So we have to be better.”

The defense didn’t force a second-half punt and got run over by Pittsburgh, but the inability of the Saints offense to move the ball at all has been the biggest issue in New Orleans.

Alvin Kamara generated 45 scrimmage yards on 11 touches, his second straight game with fewer than 70 scrimmage yards. If the staff can’t generate touches for its best player, regardless of the situation, it’s poor coaching, plain and simple.

“At the end of the day, we didn’t make enough plays,” Dalton said. “That’s what it came down to. We weren’t able to sustain drives and that led to us not scoring enough points.”

When Allen stuck with Dalton despite Jameis Winston getting healthy, the thought process was that the veteran’s stability under center would give the Saints a better chance than the volatile Winston.

That theory is out the window.

Allen could turn back to Winston to see if it can jumpstart the club for the final seven weeks.

In an ideal world, New Orleans would have a young signal-caller it could test drive, but the Saints’ front office managed the offseason like they were a Super Bowl contender. Ten disastrous weeks in, the only thing we know for certain is that they are not that.

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