The common approach for a fan is to completely lose hope after his or her team loses an important game so late in the season. To some Saints fans, the loss of hope has been debatable.
Seeing Drew throw two interceptions returned for touchdowns Sunday afternoon was definitely a cause for concern. As was a poor rushing effort by the Black & Gold's plethora of running backs (61 yards between Ivory and Ingram). But you have to remember, the Saints played the 49ers, who just so happen to have the 2nd ranked defense, led by Aldon Smith, who has an average that equates to just over one sack in every NFL game that he has played. That's just insane.
It's not unusual for the 49ers to completely out physical a team. They average 163.4 yards per game on the ground (the best in the league), and allow about 91 rushing yards per game on defense (the fourth best). That's just their style of football. Yes, the Saints were beating them 14-7 and were on the verge of adding more to that lead, which was taking the 49ers away from their style of play. But the Saints gift-wrapped 14 points and gave it right to them. Next thing you know, Frank Gore is icing the game by running out the clock. That's what the 49ers like to do. The Saints completely shot themselves in the foot.
Meanwhile, the Saints caught a huge break in the playoff race. Every team that was ahead of them for a Wild Card spot - the Seahawks, Vikings, and Buccaneers - lost this past week as well. This has allowed the Saints to stay only one game back from the 6th seed and well in playoff contention as they enter the final weeks.
Don't forget that the Saints won five out of their past six games previous to this one. They are more than capable of going on another winning streak to end the season. Not to mention that the Saints don't play an opponent in the regular season that will be as tough of a test as the 49ers. When they make the playoffs, that will be a different story.
Let's not also forget that we have begun Falcons Hate Week Part Deux. This is a time for Who Dat Nation to relax, as the Saints own the Falcons winning 11 out of the past 13 and four in a row.
So just sit back and pump the brakes, Saints fans. This season is far from over.