So the Saints finally gave me and all the other hard-to-please, perfectionist, "whiny" Saints fans a performance to write home about. They finally got back on track. The running game flourished, the play calling was balanced and the defense was stingy. Naturally I'm ecstatic, right? Well...sort of. Obviously it's great to see the Saints return to championship form and dominate a weaker opponent the way they did last year. But, of course, there are two sides to every coin.
What yesterday's victory proves is that this is very much the talented Saints team we knew they could be. The Saints obviously have the ability to put together sixty minutes of good football in all phases. On paper there is very little difference between this years team and last; yesterday we saw that they can be very similar on the field as well. This is a team from which we are reasonably allowed to expect much. And when key players get healthy, we should be able to expect even more.
But that would also mean the Saints were, in fact, under-performing during their first five games of the season. They didn't lose to the Falcons and the Cardinals because they weren't good enough. They lost because they didn't play as well as they should have. Straight up. The good news is that we don't have to acknowledge that the Saints are just a mediocre team with limited potential. This isn't a talentless team, regardless of injury. We can now rule that option out. The bad news, however, is that we have reason to worry about which team is actually going to show up for any given game. We may have a consistency problem.
So the million dollar question becomes: Will the Saints continue to play like they did yesterday or will they slide back to their early season form?