Someone give me an answer. Someone tell me what is going on in New Orleans. Right now through five weeks the Saints are a modest 3-2. After an embarrassing performance in a 30-20 loss to the Arizona Cardinals, I am officially in panic mode. I am officially sounding the alarms, ordering a Code Red and officially starting to question whether this team can even make the playoffs.
In Week 1 the Saints beat the Vikings in a defensive struggle 14-9. We, the fans, were satisfied because the Sean Payton Saints rarely win dragged out defensive games. In Week 2 the Saints managed to pull out a last second victory, 25-22, against an amped up 49ers team. Again, we were happy because despite playing lousy the Saints managed to pull off a victory against what we considered another NFC playoff team. Then in Week 3 the Saints lousy play caught up to them. Despite chances to win in the end, New Orleans lost 27-24 in overtime. The following week the Saints were to play the lowly Panthers. This was the game the Saints would finally wake up in 2010 and quick screwing around on offense. As it has been so characteristic in 2010 the Saints defense played well, but the offense was inept. Saints survived 16-14. And finally in Week 5 the Saints went against the struggling Cardinals who were starting for the first time at quarterback an undrafted rookie. New Orleans lost 30-20.
I know not having Pierre Thomas and Reggie Bush on offense hurts and I realize how much more difficult winning is after winning the Super Bowl, but what the Saints are putting out on the field on Sunday is not average, sub par or mediocre. No, it stinks. There is no excuse for the type of football the Saints are currently playing.
Thomas and Bush’s absences are a big hit for New Orleans, but in no way should that be detrimental to the offense breaking, say, 25 points in a game. The defense has not been as turnover-savvy as last year, but still the unit has been effective. The problem lies with the offense and more importantly red zone efficiency. I would love to look up the stats, but I honestly am too lazy to go to NFL.com and search around (pathetic, I know). How many times this year have the Saints been in the opponent’s territory and a) turned it over, b) shanked a field goal or c) kicked a field goal when all the team had to do was convert a 3rd and short? These mishaps are hindering the offense tremendously.
One of my friends kept joking with me about the Madden Curse. I am honestly starting to believe him. Drew Brees numbers are not bad; it’s just more so than in the past he seems to be making foolish mistakes in crucial moments of the game.
As a complete unit, the offense really just looks bad. Here are some examples of things I am continuously seeing each Sunday.
-A Saints receiver drops the type of throw he rarely misses.
-When the team needs seven points and not three, on third down all too often the team fails to convert the first down. (This was seen in the Cardinals game when it was 13-13 and the Saints had to resort to kicking a field…one in which John Carney so eloquently shanked.)
-On the occasional big throw Drew Brees has been a little off. Most quarterbacks would have made that same throw, but Drew Brees normally makes that difficult throw. All too often this year Brees seems to be somewhat off on the occasional big throw.
The list goes on as there have been far too many foolish penalties and turnovers to name a few.
Nothing can ever tarnish the magic of the 2009 Super Bowl season. Still I, along with other fans, want to see the Saints SUSTAIN EXCELLENCE. Build off of last year. Grow. Develop.
Right now Sean Payton’s team is in real gut-check because with five games down the unit is only a modest 3-2, but with all things considered 3-2 could be much worse. There is no Super Bowl aura around this team; the nation has seen how the Saints are vulnerable. It’s up to them to respond, to get back up and go to work.
I am a Saints fan. I am hopeful things can turn around. Who Dat!