The Good and the Ugly: LSU Wins, Saints Sleepwalk To Loss
Evidently no one told the New Orleans Saints that my homie Boilin’ Bill’s birthday was this weekend. Worst yet, my homie Ann not only has to work with movie people (she is an awesome costumer designer) but she has to currently work with movie people in Atlanta. Life sure can be tricky sometimes.
Remember that one game where the refs didn’t make horrible calls? Yeah, me neither because it’s been awhile. In the Saints 26-9 loss to that other team the referees flagged the Saints four times for illegal hands to the face. Remember that game where you saw that penalty called four times? Yeah, me neither. Whatever latest point the NFL was trying to make to the Saints altered the game, extended drives for that other team and created a weird sense, early in the game, that this one wasn’t going to go the Saints way.
Unfortunately, the calls didn’t really matter as the Saints made them irrelevant by putting together one of their worst games in recent memory. Honestly, who was this team in Black and Gold? And when was the last time they had their hat handed to them in such a thorough fashion? This one was straight up ugly with a side WTF.
It was such a bizarre display that I don’t even care about the bad calls by the refs but since there are folks who think every single Saints loss is caused by the referees and/or NFL commissioner here are a few questions to ask before going that route.
Why couldn’t the Saints defense get off the field? Why couldn’t our offense complete any pass downfield? Why did Brees settle for dinking and dunking the ball all day? Did Sheldon Rankins or Marcus Davenport make one play? If Alvin Kamara is healthy why was he barely used (four rushes)? How did Cam Jordan get handled by a rookie? Why couldn’t Sean Payton spark any life into this team? Why couldn’t the Saints run the ball? How does our offensive line give up six sacks against a team that only had seven sacks on the year? How did the other team run the ball right up the middle over and over again? Why was Latavius Murray an afterthought? And how does a division leader not just lose but also absolutely get their ass kicked by a 1-7 team?
See? It’s not just the referees. There are a lot of questions to be answered after this one.
And, before you have a bad week at work because the Saints lost, also consider this – this year the Ravens got whipped by the Browns, the Packers got handled by the Chargers, the Rams lost to the Buccaneers, the Cowboys lost to the Jets and so on and so on. Sometimes the better team loses. You just never know when it’s going to be and isn’t that why we watch the games in the first place? It stinks but you can’t win them all. Also, be happy, the Saints only have to wait 18 days before they get another crack at Atlanta.
I was going to write about LSU’s big win over Alabama first but, after that dud of a Saints game, I want to end on a high note and no fan base is higher than the Bayou Tigers fan base after coach Ed Orgeron’s boys rolled into Tuscaloosa and beat the Crimson Tide 46-41.
Enough can’t be said about LSU’s quarterback Joe Burrow. The grad transfer has gone off this year (3,198 yards, 33 TDs, 4 INTs) and looks to be set to runaway with the Heisman Trophy. However, this group of kids has their eyes on the national championship and should be ranked number one after this game, their fourth top 10 victory of the year.
Burrow exudes a confidence that seems to have taken hold of the ball club. Unbelievably, on Saturday, it was the perennial title contender Crimson Tide that seemed overwhelmed by the game. Dumb penalties, a snap that sailed over the punter’s head and an awful throw by Tua Tagovailoa at the end of the half (that directly led to LSU’s 33-13 halftime lead) are just a few examples of how bad the Tide was shook by LSU. It was a day where Alabama was in chase mode from Jump Street and they never could catch the Tigers.
The Tigers will be favored in every game the rest of the way as they travel to Ole Miss, host Arkansas and finish the regular season hosting Texas A&M. After that the Tigers could head to their first SEC Championship since 2011 to take on the Georgia Bulldogs in a megawatt matchup as the Bulldogs are looking to fight their way into the playoffs as well. There’s still a lot of football to be played but with a month left in the regular season LSU is one of the few teams that control its own destiny.
Around the Way
After the Saints game, as the city mourned, I went for a walk to confirm that life had indeed gone on and we would make it through this dark hour. I looked into Rendezvous Tavern and the people were talking, laughing and having a good time as usual. People were still buying Louisiana beers and shrimp at Breaux Mart and cars still bounced in and out of potholes on Magazine Street. Life is still good, folks.
I was texting with Kelly, one of my editors, and, yes, we decided the game was indeed dumb and she made a “Space Jam” reference, a movie that I never watched. The exchange led us to this funny realization – what if there is someone out there walking the earth who thinks that Michael Jordan is just a baseball player? Or actor?
Have a great day, New Orleans!