It has obviously been an ugly first quarter for a team that had to deal with a lot of adversity this past offseason. Can the Saints turn it around? Not if they keep performing the way they have been.
Let's take a look at how each position has performed after the first quarter mark of the 2012 season.
Drew Brees hasn't really been playing like, well, Drew Brees. After having a record-breaking 2011 season, the quarterback, who is usually more accurate, got off to a rough start.
He did look good and like the good ol' Brees in Week 4 against the Green Bay Packers, though.
In four games, Brees has thrown for 1,350 yards and 10 touchdowns, completing only 57.6 percent of his passes, and has already thrown five picks.
Brees is about to make history and break another record—Johnny Unitas' record for consecutive games with a touchdown pass, 47—but Brees' play has to pick up some more. The Saints without their leader, head coach Sean Payton, need Brees now more than ever.
In the 2011 season, Drew Brees and his wide receiving corps made history, breaking a myriad of records. This season, the Saints wide receiving corps took a hit, with injuries to rookie Nick Toon, the loss of Robert Meachem in free agency, and, more importantly, their no. 1 receiver who was slowed down by injuries.
The receivers, who are usually sure-handed, have been experiencing a lack of focus and have been dropping a disturbing amount of passes.
The Saints' receivers have caught passes for a combined 1,350 yards. Their leading receiver, Marques Colston, leads the way with 313 yards. Tight end Jimmy Graham has 24 receptions and has the most touchdowns on the team with three.
In 2011, the Saints had one of the top rushing attacks to complement their air attack. That combination was lethal.
In 2012? The Saints run game is nonexistent. They are ranked in the bottom in rushing.They have the talent to have a top rushing attack again, but something is missing. Is it the offensive line? Is it the running backs themselves? The play-calling?
Aside from their Week 2 matchup against the Carolina Panthers, where the Saints rushed for 163 yards, the running game has been awful. They have rushed for a combined 323 yards in four games.
The Saints need to get more production out of this unit. Without the run game, the Saints cannot and will not win.
The running game has been awful, and it partly has to do with how the New Orleans Saints offensive line has been performing. The unit, which features three Pro Bowl linemen from 2011, has been inconsistent. What used to be a strength of the team, the line has struggled and is off to a shaky start.
The unit looked better against the Green Bay Packers in Week 4, but it still allowed Drew Brees to be sacked twice.
The same problem the Saints had last season continues in 2012. The Saints are missing a pass-rush from their defensive linemen.
The linemen are failing to generate much pressure on opposing quarterbacks.
Yes, the defense has a new defensive coordinator, but that's no excuse why the unit looks lost and is having trouble getting through the o-line. It is almost ranked at the bottom of the league with only six sacks.
The linebacking corps has the potential and personnel to be one of the top units in the league, but the Saints have been dealing with injuries to their linebackers since the 2012 preseason. Recent injuries to David Hawthorne and Jonathan Casillas put a strain on the Saints' defensive planning as well.
The unit hasn't been as bad as the Saints defensive linemen, but it has contributed to the Saints' horrendous defense, which ranks toward the bottom in the league.
The Saints secondary is ranked 23rd in the league, allowing 276.5 yards through the air per game. Of course, everything needs to fall into place: The Saints need to be able to stop the run; they need to be able to generate pressure and sack the opposing quarterback. Without it, the opposing quarterbacks have enough time to sit in the pocket and pick apart the Saints secondary.
The cornerbacks have only picked off passes twice. That's not really something to fear when going against a Saints secondary.
Including new kicker Garrett Hartley's two misses so far this season, the Saints special teams unit has been a disappointment.
Hartley's inaccuracy has cost the Saints a couple of wins. Is it time to let the kicker go? He's not too reliable and buckles under pressure.
Returner Darren Sproles hasn't been able to break out for some long runs but has put up some decent numbers in the return game.