It seemed like it was going to be one of those days. The kind of day that Saints fans have had to endure for way too many Sundays over the two previous seasons. A day where, once again, the Saints were beat to the punch and another loss kept the team’s playoff hopes at bay.
Thankfully, it wasn’t that day.
Sunday was a day that showed how tough this team could potentially be and how much heart lives in the boys in the Black and Gold. It could be a day that the Saints will point to and look back on. It was that kind of day.
It all started so poorly. A lot of ho-hum that was punctuated by a Mark Ingram fumble, his second costly fumble in two weeks, that popped into Earl Thomas’ hands and he was off to the races for a 34-yard touchdown to give the Seahawks a 7-0 lead. After the Saints were able to get their first points of the day on a 22-yard field goal by Wil Lutz half way through the second quarter, the Seahawks would respond with some razzle dazzle with Russell Wilson hitting Tanner McEvoy on a backward pass. McEvoy then went deep to a wide open C.J. Prosise for a 43-yard gain that would set up the Seahawks second touchdown and the Seahawks were up 14-3 and the Saints looked wobbly and their fan base felt the same.
But this would be a different kind of day.
And, for once, the game-changing play didn’t come from the hands of Drew Brees, or anyone on the offense for that matter. It was a play by the defense, yes the Saints defense, that turned the tide. Late in the first half, after the Saints offense had only been able to eke out two field goals, it was middle linebacker Nate Stupar doing his best impression of an all-pro tight end (who shall not be named), getting fully-extended to intercept a bullet from Wilson. It was a play that ignited the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and evidently struck a fire underneath the offense as Brees would lead the boys to a touchdown right before the end of the half and the Saints entered the locker room with the momentum.
The second half would be a tale of two defenses bending but not breaking. If you were a gambling man you would obviously think that it would be the highly-celebrated, former Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks defense that would rule the day.
But it wasn’t that day.
Sunday was built for the scrappy Black and Gold. Sunday was a day where the no names would hold court for the Saints defense. Ken Crawley, on a play that won’t be on any highlight reel may have won the game with six minutes to go. Crawley expertly played a short pass from Wilson to Tyler Lockett in the red zone, with the Saints backed up against their goal line and desperately holding on to a 22-17 lead. Lockett caught a quick out route at the seven-yard line and only had Crawley to beat, but it was Crawley who would wrap up Lockett at the four-yard line to force the field goal.
I’m guessing that play may be forgotten about because of what happened a few minutes later. Remember when I told you how every game was going to be a barnburner this year and everything was up for grabs until the clock hit triple zeros? If this week is indicative of the rest of the season we’re all going to have gray hair on New Year’s Eve.
Sunday was a day where another no name saved the day. B.W. Webb, a free agent who joined the Saints on Sept. 13 — his fourth team in three years — after Delvin Breaux’s injury, was the man of the hour, or at least the last two seconds. Webb bodied up Jermaine Kearse perfectly as the Seahawks looped a short pass into the end zone with no time remaining. Kearse actually pushed off on Webb to create some space in the end zone and caught the pass from Wilson but the two floated out of the back of the end zone and the pass was incomplete.
The Superdome went wild, the city of New Orleans got happy and the Saints were back in the playoff race.
After an unexpected upset by the Atlanta Falcons over the Green Bay Packers, the Saints remain a game-and-a-half behind Atlanta. The Saints will travel to San Francisco to take on the 49ers in a game that is an absolute must win for New Orleans. The 49ers are a bad team and, even though the Saints are on the road, they have to beat this kind of team. A loss would put the Saints back in critical condition. A win puts them at 4-4 with four division games to go. I’ll say it again. The season ender in Atlanta could be for a whole lot of marbles. Who Dat.
And like a fine wine with a steak dinner, every game should be accompanied by a beverage and song.
Beer Pairing: Nola Brewing’s “Irish Channel Stout”
Playlist Recommendation: LL Cool J – “Mama Said Knock You Out”
Around the Way
Tennis season is upon us once again and a big early season shoutout to the Green Wave Women’s team. Tulane rolled into the Roberta Alison Fall Classic in Tuscaloosa, Alabama and rolled out with three titles. Junior Sade Atkinson led the team with a singles title and a doubles title, where she paired up with sophomore Sofia Kurtz. Senior Kyla Klier and freshman Christina Sisti took another doubles title for the Green Wave.
The Green Wave are now preparing for their next tournament, which will be right up the road at the LSU Fall Invitational on Nov. 11.
You should be like me, and 1,254 other people, and follow the women’s tennis team on Twitter. They have a really cool account. Also, I played tennis once. It’s hard.