Highs and Lows
LSU rules, Saints D gets embarrassed
You can’t win ‘em all is what every real football fan knows and, unfortunately, that old axiom came into play this weekend as the New Orleans Saints were beat 48-46 in the Superdome. Thankfully, for many a fan in south Louisiana, the LSU Tigers had already put lipstick on the pig by taking care of business in destroying the Georgia Bulldogs 37-10 in the SEC Championship. Win some. Lose some. That’s just the way it goes I suppose.
What can be said about Joe Burrow (aka “Burreaux”) that hasn’t already been said? The accolades shower this kid in a never-ending storm and Burrow deserves every one of those purple and gold raindrops. He just doesn’t miss. Burrow’s latest performance, in the SEC Championship, was par for the course and, in my opinion, wrapped up the Heisman trophy. To be more specific, his name was probably etched into the trophy the second a Georgia defensive lineman batted the ball back into Burrow’s arms and he caught his own pass and scooted 16 yards for the first down. Like I said, the kid just doesn’t miss.
Georgia never had a chance. Yet, late in the first half it seemed like they might make a game of it but the Tigers defense was all over the Bulldogs Jake “from state” Fromm. The Bulldogs offense never got going and watched their college playoff dreams go up in smoke in the Atlanta whatever-dome. Burrow was in no mood to take any prisoners and stamped his name into the SEC Championship books with a 27-for-37, 347 yards and four touchdowns performance. Wild to say that’s an average performance but that’s just how good the young man is this year.
LSU (13-0) finishes the season ranked number one and will take on the Oklahoma Sooners (12-1) in the college football “Final Four.” With a win they will play the winner of the Ohio State-Clemson matchup in the national championship right here in the Crescent City. Think that might be a fun weekend?
I don’t want to hear anything about the pass interference on the punt play late in the third quarter. One, the NFL is always going to stick the Saints with bad calls and two, the Saints defense put in an embarrassing performance straight out of the bad old days. I’m telling you, everyone in your office is going to be flapping their arms around and talking about how the NFL has in it for the Saints but the fact is New Orleans (10-3) did not deserve to win this heavyweight matchup. Well actually, the offense did deserve to win the game but the defense flushed their effort right down the drain. After this performance, the only thing the defense can hang their hat on is that at least they didn’t make an embarrassing video heading up to the game like the current mayor.
Yes, the mayor’s dancing was on point, but that part about the Sewerage & Water Board water used in the Sazerac Rye was bad. Not as bad however as I imagine it will be for the defense watching film this week. It’s rough to have to watch one’s failures but, hopefully, it will be eye opening and an aberration. The 49ers (11-2) just had their number. Defensive coordinator Dennis Allen had no answer for the San Francisco offense as they seemingly dragged a wide-open receiver across the middle of the defense at will. Third down? Drag a receiver across the middle. Need momentum? Drag a receiver across the middle. You bored? Drag a receiver across the middle. On and on, ad nauseam.
The Saints no longer control their own playoff destiny but I don’t think they should worry about travelling to play the 49ers on the road. This game was a total toss up and could easily fall the Saints way next time. And, honestly, what’s the difference in playing San Francisco, or Santa Clara, rather, on the road or in the Superdome when all of your supposed hardcore Saints-loving friends sell their tickets to the other team’s fans for a quick buck? Right?
Right? That was actually the most embarrassing aspect of this game. Dome field advantage? Nope. “Oh, we’ll be there when it counts.” It counted Sunday, as a loss, and you sold your tickets to an archrival. What a joke.
Not to knock the offense after a great performance but they really really need to get back to featuring Latavius Murray. Alvin Kamara just can’t get it done between the tackles. He’s just not that guy. The Saints can literally look at their playbook from last year, the one they had before messing up the Mark Ingram contract, to see how to get the run game back on track because the rushing attack is not working.
Now I’m just getting grumpy. I had a much cooler version of this story planned where I talked about walking to the Superdome with my lady and Boilin’ Bill and meeting Matt and Ginny, our great friends from out of town. It would’ve been fun to write but, like this game, sometimes things just don’t play out the way you want them to. With that said, after the game we were in the Ace Hotel dancing with other Saints fans like we had just won the Super Bowl. The San Fran fans just sat and watched. Sometimes it’s about the small victories.
And like a fine wine with a steak dinner, every game should be accompanied by a beverage and song.
Beer Pairing: Dixie Brewing Company – Finally brewing in Louisiana again
Playlist Recommendation: Dolly Parton – “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town”
Around the Way
Tulane Green Wave Volleyball returned to the National Invitational Tournament and came through with a victory over New Hampshire in the first round before falling to Colgate in the second round to end their season. While the team had higher expectations it was still another impressive campaign by the Green Wave (22-11) under coach Jim Barnes. This team’s future is brighter than a Louisiana sun in August. Get ready for a NCAA tournament run, New Orleans.