Saturday, December 19, 2009

Evaluating the Saints Loss

Losing sucks. There's no way around it. And tonight's Saints game was no different, if anything it was more painful. Yet despite the outcome there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Yes, I know I wanted it too. The New Orleans Saints for crying out loud where 13-0 and the thought of going 16-0, even 19-0 was still a possibility. After the miraculous win against Washington, people started to believe that it was, gasp, destiny. Then in one evening it all came crashing down.

It is so simple when you look back on the Saints 24-17 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. For once the Saints got jumped on in the first quarter and for once Drew Brees was getting knocked around all night. Sure the Saints had close calls this year, but no one got pressure on Drew Brees the way Dallas did. After tonight I would put the Dallas Cowboy defensive line between Batman and Superman. It looked that good.

All night it was the same thing. Dallas played flawless, New Orleans looked flat. So many things went wrong for New Orleans. Where do you start? Is it the poor tackling or the lousy run defense that made Tony Romo look like Barry Saunders? Better yet was it the fact that Devery Henderson dropped a touchdown or how the team scored zero points after Courtney Roby took the kickoff back to the Dallas 30? Doesn't matter who you cut it up they lost and that little magical dream so many had is gone.

So what. Move on.

In all honesty this is the most important thing to take into consideration. After having played lousy for three quarters and going into the fourth quarter down 24-3 the Saints refused to fall over. They kept fighting.

For three quarters I watched the Saints defense (yet again) get embarrassed on third down. When the fourth quarter started hope was nearly gone. It seemed the Saints where going to go down easy and lose pathetically 31-6 on their own turf.

But they didn't. They fought. They regrouped and somehow got things rolling. Brees got back into the zone and helped get one touchdown. 24-10. And then for the first time all game the defense made a huge third down stop. Again Brees brought the team down and again he showed the resolve of the Saints. Lance Moore caught a screen and it was 24-17. And finally when all hope seemed lost, when it seemed the game was over Dallas kicker Nick Folk shanked a 24 yard chip shot. It was epic. The Saints were yet again bailed out by an NFL kicker missing an extra point-esque kick. There was still hope. Slowly, but surely the Saints marched down the field, only this time luck run out.

In a fitting manner the Dallas defensive line put the stamp on an embarrassing humiliation of the Saints' offensive line. The loss stings no doubt, but I take pride in knowing that down by 21 in the fourth quarter was still not enough of a reason for the Saints to throw the towel in.

Think of it this way - the Cowboys played a perfect game and the Saints made every mistake they could make, yet New Orleans still had a shot at winning in the end. Believe it or not, that says something.

1 comment:

Nathan said...

The elephant is out of the room. We no longer have the stress of trying to achieve a perfect regular season record. Regardless of whether or not the Saints would admit it, there is extra pressure attached with a 13-0 record. But now we have a blemish in the L column so Drew Brees and Sean Payton can focus on the ultimate mark of a champion: the Vince Lombardi trophy!