That's it. Not much of a chance for the post-season left now. Even if the Saints could win the rest of their games this season - they won't - it probably wouldn't be enough for a playoff spot. Let's all be completely honest with eachother...this is the Saints. What reason would we have for thinking they could put together a bunch of wins. They have been inconsistent all season. Two seasons actually and nothing leads me to believe it will be any different for a while.
I'm not gonna do the usual bulleted list of notes on this game. I wasn't there so I can't give you my personal observations and try to convey the feel of the atmosphere. I watched the same game as you and I want to projectile vomit just like you. There is no point in discussing some of the finer details. Not yet anyway. But I guess we have to discuss some of the bigger issues at hand. As angry, frustrated and confused as I am I will try to be as optimistic and unbiased as possible.
This was a rollercoaster of a game and at a certain point it actually looked like the Saints were going to pull it out. But alas, the Saints were 0-16 under Sean Payton when losing after the third quarter so why should we have expected the outcome to be any different. What does that stat say about this team anyway? Does that stat speak to poor coaching? Maybe in the motivation department. The announcers kind of touched on that question at the very end and I think it's an important discussion. What the hell is wrong with this team? They are now 0-17.
Reggie came back and I think the results were what we all feared. He had 3 runs for zero yards. He did have 5 catches for 32 yards but dropped at least one catchable ball. I like the way Payton started out using him with quick bubble screens and not running between the tackles. Payton got away from that quickly though and we didn't see much of Reggie late in the game. Let's chalk this poor performance up to not being 100% ready yet. Colston didn't look too good his first couple of games back either.
I hate to say it but Drew's three (could have been four) interceptions definitely hurt this team and I question some of the decisions on those deep passes. For some reason he kept forcing throws into double coverage in the end zone. When Drew is not on his game then the Saints offense has no chance because Brees is the heart and soul of it. It also doesn't help when Jammal Brown keeps getting beat and Drew continuosly feels pressure on his backside. The real problem at the core of this issue however is the fact that Drew threw 47 passes today. This was not a game that was out of reach at any point. In fact, the Saints were leading at the half. Yet once again the Saints leading rusher, Pierre Thomas, only has 11 carries and Payton fails to stick with a fairly successful running game with Pierre.
Colston didn't score a touchdown but it definitely felt more like old Colston out there. I think his comeback is officially over. He was a consistent target for Drew throughout the game. He should have made that catch for the first down on the last drive though. Colston certainly has been showing more of his human side as of late.
If the Saints could have managed to get into field goal range late in the game, I really do trust that Hartley could have made the kick. That is great news. Hartley looked good on the 47 yarder in the rain and high wind. If there is a silver lining on this cloud, Hartley could be it.
Believe it or not I think our defense played pretty decently. In fact, thanks to them, the Saints actually had a couple of chances to win the game. Randall Gay and Jason David both made really big plays back to back late in the 4th quarter and forced the Bucs to punt. Jeff Garcia was limited to only 119 yards on only 9 passes. Vilma came up big for the Saints too, forcing a fumble late in the game and stripping the ball for a turnover early. Their biggest weakness of the game was not being able to contain Garcia.
All in all, my feelings of anger and frustration are pointed more toward the coaching than the players performances. This entire season I have had a difficult time putting my finger on exaclty what I think is wrong with this team and only until right now do I think I have my answer. It's certainly not a new, enlightening or groundbreaking thought. The Saints offense is being held back because this coaching staff fails to change their offensive game plan to better utilize the talent they actually have as opposed to trying to force talent they think they should have.
There is a lot more I can discuss but I will let you guys bring up those points. I'm sure there is a lot of sadness, frustration and disappointment out there in Who Dat Nation so let it all out. Personally, I am going to register at Bed, Bath & Beyond in the hopes a little retail therapy will cure my black and gold blues.
Here is the Open Thread roll call. This one was one of the better ones and I think a new high of over 800 comments. Thanks to everyone who hung out. They are really starting to get good.
Total Users: 19
Total Posts: 805
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|Name||# of Posts|
|Steve the fan||71|
|Dave the Falconer||15|