88 miles per hour. This is the speed at which we must travel (preferably in a Delorean) to travel back in time. We could go back to 2009 when everybody was feeling good. No bountygate talk, no Drew Brees contract issues, no coach suspensions....ah those were the days. Actually, I want to travel back a little further than that....to 2007.
Going in to the 2007 season, the Saints were flying higher than they ever have. After winning the NFC South and advancing to our first ever conference championship game in team history, we as a fan base, had Super Bowl level expectations. What followed, was one of the worst starts in franchise history. The Saints started out 0-4, a hole they could never quite dig themselves out of, finishing 7-9. I decided I wanted to compare that 2007 team with the current team through the first 3 games.
Let's start with the heart and soul of those teams, Drew Brees. Brees played about as poorly as a QB can play in the first three games of '07:
83-130 63.8% 677 yards 1 TD 7 INT QB Rating 57.3
Compare that to the first three games of this season:
75-137 54.7% 904 yards 7 TD 5 INT QB Rating 77.0
While the accuracy is almost a full 10 percentage points lower, the yards and TDs are well above the 2007 numbers, with 2 less interceptions. As bad as Drew seems to be playing right now, we've seen a lot worse out of him.
Let's move on to the defense. We all remember Gary Gibbs' vanilla defense. (Most of us try to forget). We also remember a certain cornerback who's name I will not mention. (Darn that memory). Seeing this Spagnuolo defense, I am painfully reminded of the defense under Gary Gibbs. Let's look at the numbers.
2007 Allowed 53-1st downs 1,066 total yards 717 pass yards (mostly on #42) 10.7 yards per pass 14/33 (42.4%) 3rd down conversions 349 rush yards 3.8 yards per rush 2 turnovers (We were -7) Outscored 103-38
2012 Allowed 72-1st downs 1,432 total yards 787 pass yards 9.8 yards per pass 17/45 (37.8%) 645 rush yards 5.0 yards per rush 4 turnovers (+/- 0) Outscored 102-83
Those numbers are absolutely horrific!! This defense looks WORSE than the 2007 defense. The '07 defense was actually decent against the run (probably because everybody was throwing on us). This year's defense is horrible against both the run and the pass (It's a balanced defensive attack).
To recap this, the offense actually looks better than the 2007 offense that only scored 38 points and turned the ball over 9 times through the first 3 games, but the defense looks without a doubt, worse than the '07 defense that had Jason freakin David!!!!!
Now to look on the bright side. The 2007 team started the season 0-4. The offense played terrible. The defense played terrible. The special teams played terrible (Remember Olindo Mare?). That team clawed their way back to 4-4 and actually pulled off a respectable 7-9 record. This year's team is playing similarly bad, but they are still (slightly) ahead of the curve. They are 0-3 (which is not 0-4). That '07 team was still in playoff contention (barely, but they were) until late in the season. And hey, didn't we finish the '09 regular season on a 3 game losing streak? How did that work out for us again? Oh yeah, like this: