Marcus Murphy has been almost everything the Saints hoped when they took the rookie return man with their seventh-round pick in May.

Only one thing remains.

Murphy needs to protect the ball better. For the second straight game, Murphy fumbled a punt return, only this time Willie Snead wasn't there to pick it up and set up a game-winning field goal.

Murphy has now fumbled three times this season, losing only one.

"You should always be cautious.That's one thing in this league that I'm learning as I go, everybody's good. You always have to be on your A game, you always have to be on top of the details, so that's one thing, you have to protect the ball in this league or you won't have a job, so I'm going to come out and get this fixed."

Murphy averages 25.0 yards per kickoff return and 9.8 yards per punt return, and he already has one punt return for a touchdown this season.

But the rookie needs to correct his fumbling problem soon.

"When you're that man who has got the ball in your hand, you are carrying the hopes of all 53," Saints coach Sean Payton said. "I didn't like where the ball was at (on Murphy's fumble). That has to get corrected, or someone else will do it."