Five Things I Took Away From the Saints vs. Redskins Game

September 9, 2012; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham (80), Washington Redskins safety DeJon Gomes (24) and cornerback DeAngelo Hall (23) reach for a pass during the fourth quarter of a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Redskins defeated the Saints 40-32. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

There's not much left to be said about the debacle that was the the Saints 40-32 loss to the Redskins, but not having much left to say has never stopped me before. That being said, here are the five things I took away from Sunday's game.

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1. Aaron Kromer should've asked the replacement refs for advice on how to handle pressure. He looked scared to death. Bountygate doesn't matter. Sean Payton doesn't matter. Joe Vitt doesn't matter. Kromer is the head coach - he should either step up and do the job or tell Mr. Benson to put somebody else in the position who is willing to do the job.

2. Drew Brees didn't look like a $100,000,000 quarterback. Do I dare criticize Drew Brees for his uninspired, disinterested play Sunday? Yup. One sideline shot during the 3rd quarter showed Brees sitting on the bench with a pout on his face while Chase Daniels tapped his fingers on the back of the bench as he looked around like he was waiting for the first bus out of town. More than anything I saw Sunday, this five seconds of video gave me the ache in my stomach I used to call a 4-12 season. Too many times a big name star earns a big money contract only to succumb to the pressure of the money - or to let up on the throttle a little - and I'd be lying if I didn't admit the thought of Brees falling short of his salary expectations this season didn't cross my mind pretty much all afternoon.

3. The offensive line was, in a word, offensive. So Carl Nicks goes to Tampa and the entire offensive line falls apart? Really? Hey Zach Strief, hold much? The ridiculous holding penalties are not on the replacement refs or replacement coaches, they're on the players. We're not going to win many games with an offensive line that plays the way the Saints' line played against the Redskins.

4. According to the scoreboard the game wasn't decided until the last play of the 4th quarter. But unfortunately, the Saints coaching staff and players on the field decided the outcome by the end of the first half. The Saints didn't get blown out - in spite of themselves - which just goes to show how talented the Saints are. But like the saying goes...Talent beats hard work, unless talent doesn't work hard and the Saints didn't look like they worked hard. Payton may have left his team with the "Do Your Job" mantra, but from what I saw nobody listened to him.

5. Roger Goodell and the replacement refs had nothing to do with the game. A case might be made that Sean Payton, Gregg Williams and Roger Goodell put the team in its current position, but at the end of the game the scoreboard reflects what the players on the field did. I've made my feelings about Goodell's hypocrisy on the lockout known, but the truth is both teams dealt with the same marginally competent officiating crew. Anything short of admitting the team and the coaching staff were out-played, out-coached and out-desired is just ignoring what we all saw.

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The Saints head to Carolina next week to face an angry team that will be every bit as hard to stop, with a better defense, than the Redskins. If the coaching staff and the players don't take a good hard look at themselves this week, 0-2 is a sure bet.

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