Something talked about all week long was the benefits of what would happen if the Saints won. Hammerlock on the division. 3 game lead over the Bucs, Falcons (if they lost) and 4 game lead over the Panthers (if they won). Something not talked about, was if the Saints lost. The Bucs would have a half game lead over the Saints pending the 2nd game of the season, the Falcons would be a game back of the Saints (if they won) while the Panthers would be irreverent(if they lost).
Sadly, everything went against the Saints tonight. The Saints lost, the Panthers lost, the Falcons won, and of course, the Bucs won. The Saints had been playing sloppy on defense, and to some extent, on offense. There were struggles in the redzone, struggles running the ball, defending against the run, and against big plays.
Which of course, leads to my question...do the Saints still have this?A lengthy and long answer, which to sum up, depends. Got to hate that word, "depends". Depends on what? Well, do the Saints come out fired up, learn their mistakes and start tightening up all of those problems that people had been harping on for the past 6 weeks? Or do they just say the Bucs were fired up and there was no way the Saints were going to win that one? Their attitude is the main point of contention for the rest of the season.
Everyone knows the Saints have the talent. This is likely the most talented team in New Orleans Saints history, including their 2009 foray into relevance by winning the Super Bowl ever (which was awesome guys, don't get me wrong). However, it seems they have this attitude that this team is so talented they don't need to fix their problems. That Drew Brees can bail them out of any situation no matter how they screw it up. Guess what? Drew Brees is human after all.
Can he do it all himself? Of course not, 2008 proved that. He had a nearly record breaking year, but couldn't get the wins because of his defense. No quarterback can "pull a team back by himself". QBs don't play defense, they don't play special teams, and they don't play the other 10 positions on offense.
A loss can be good for a team, I mean the Saints did lose this game. Yes they lost in heartbreaking fashion after getting hopes high. Excuse me one second (pours glass of rum, chugs glass). Ahh, that's better. Where was I? Oh right. Losses can be good for a team. Longer term fans know this, they know that losing is inevitable. This loss just seemed to hurt more to me though. Of all the games so far, I was ok with losing to the Packers, I would have been fine losing to the Texans, I would have been fine losing to the Panthers. I wasn't as fine with losing to the Bucs.
Maybe that was just me. Maybe everyone else was expecting a loss and I'm the only one who thought the Saints should have dominated and played mistake free football. But who knows?
All I know, is that this was a loss. The Saints need to turn around and recuperate. Don't let this be the end of them because it was a loss that made them lose the divisional lead. They need to learn, get better, and come back strong, and hell, smell greatness if they want to prove that they learned why they lost. If they do that, then yes, I have no doubt this division belongs to the Saints. If not, then they never really belonged anyway, did they?
As for my feelings: