Sep 19, 201710:11 AM
Full Sport Press
'The games we play in New Orleans and beyond'
New Orleans Saints downward spiral continues
Well, at least diehard fans still have the Atlanta Superbowl jokes, I guess. You know the one, “Don’t let <insert sports event here> distract you from the fact that Atlanta lost the Superbowl after leading 28-3.” There are some pretty funny ones out there and were a gem to get you through the sports day over the off-season. But now, after the New Orleans Saints once again have dropped to 0-2 to start the season, the jokes seem a bit sad and desperate.
Especially after watching the Falcons shred the perennial NFC title contender Green Bay Packers 34-23 on Sunday night after watching the New England Patriots walk into the Superdome and mop the floor with the Saints, 36-20.
But don’t let the Patriots absolutely destroying the Saints on their home turf distract you from the fact that Atlanta lost the Superbowl after leading 28-3. See? It doesn’t work anymore.
It doesn’t work because the Saints are not a good football team.
It was never a game on Sunday. There was never one doubt from the get-go that the Patriots were going to win. It was just a matter of how bad it was going to be (and it felt a lot worse than the outcome). Please don’t bring up the fact that the Saints only trailed 6-3 and that the Patriots got away with a pick play in the first quarter. The pick play is just another example of Bill Belichick outcoaching and running an organization better than Sean Payton. The Saints were lucky New England didn’t hang 50 on them.
Tom Brady and the New England Patriots were determined not to go 0-2. The New Orleans Saints, a team where bad performance seemingly is not met with any repercussions, are content to go 0-2. They’re used to it.
Tom Benson, Mickey Loomis and Sean Payton. They’re content. They’re making money because you keep showing up and blindly buying tickets and jerseys and eight-dollar Dixie beers. OK, I actually don’t know the price of Dixie at the Superdome because I just can't bring myself to pay stadium prices for a $2 beer.
Oh wow. There’s a theme. The New Orleans Saints are Dixie Beer. It all makes sense now. As long as a sentimental public buys the product, who cares about improving it?
News flash – I’m grumpy about this team. “What could have been,” died a long time ago and, “How it should be,” is a million miles away.
So WhodatNation is left holding (and paying) the bills on yet another season where everyone has there hands up in the air wondering what to do and hoping to get the first win of the season in week three.
Good luck on that. The Saints are now walking into a gauntlet of games with no easy outs. This week it will be the Carolina Panthers (2-0) who have given up a total of six points over two games. That’s no fun.
But our offense is better than the Buffalo Bills and San Francisco 49ers, you say? You better hope so, but as the headlines scream about the defense’s lack of any sort of proper execution the offense is out of whack as well.
There are injuries up front and it would be a compliment to call the running game dead. The three-back system has backfired in Payton’s face which would be a surprise but, when was the last time you heard of a team running a three back attack? The Saints need to go to a standard two-back system, which should be Mark Ingram running the ball between the tackles and Alvin Kamara attacking the edges. Adrian Peterson's best days are obviously behind him.
Drew Brees is still Drew Brees of course and Michael Thomas is doing all right but there’s just no sizzle to anything because everyone has seen this movie before. Kamara’s 38-yard catch on a dime from Brees was highlight material but great plays were followed by the two most crucial had-to-have-it pass plays going to…Ted Ginn? Say what now?
Like I told you last year, and now the national papers are beating the same drum, until an organization has the guts to make the tough calls, i.e. fire people, the club will remain soft and be an easy “W” for the rest of the NFL teams who make tough decisions and demand good teams.
Again, with the current setup, no team fears the Saints coming to town, especially when the three opponents after the Panthers are all coming off playoff seasons. After Carolina, the Saints will make the tough jump over to London to play the Miami Dolphins (1-0) and then, after a bye week, fly to Lambeau Field to play the Green Bay Packers (1-1). After visiting Cheesehead Nation, the Saints play the Detroit Lions (2-0), a team that has beaten the Saints every year for the past three seasons.
0-6 never looked so close.
With that said, a football is an odd-shaped ball and odd-shaped balls lead to some funny bounces. So maybe, just maybe, the Saints can get a couple to bounce their way but if you were a betting man, would you take the Saints to win over any of these teams? But hey, as always, let’s just keep hoping for the best.
The Saints go on the road to take on the Carolina Panthers Sunday at noon, Sept. 24.
And like a fine wine with a steak dinner, every game should be accompanied by a beverage and song.
Beer Pairing: Great Raft Brewing’s “Grace and Grit” Double IPA
Playlist Recommendation: Hot Chip – “Over and Over”
Around the Way
If you want to add some wins to your weekends you should start following Tulane Volleyball. The Green Wave (11-2) is off to a hot start following a weekend that saw the women sweep their way through the Tulane Invitational. Now, of course, invitationals are meant to be won by the home club but winning games you’re supposed to is just another example of where coach Jim Barnes has the team. Things are looking up in Uptown.
Yet, things get significantly tougher as the Green Wave enter conference play this weekend with games on the road versus the SMU Mustangs (5-4), a team that has faced much stiffer competition than Tulane, and the Tulsa Golden Hurricane (6-6), a team that Tulane could pounce on. Good luck and Roll Wave!