The New Orleans Saints started their 2013 season with five straight wins, including two against division opponents and fueled by a stingy, opportunistic, much-improved defense. All was wonderful.
But perfection escaped them after losing to the Patriots in Week 6, a game they should/could have won against a quality opponent in a hostile environment. No biggie. Especially not when they were able to follow it up with a win over the Bills.
Today in their upsetting 26-20 loss to the Jets, however, the Saints looked like a completely different team. And not a good different. They allowed themselves to play down to an inferior opponent. So now here they stand, at 6-2 overall. Which isn't bad, so don't get me wrong. If you told me before the season started that the Saints would be 6-2 at the halfway point, I'd have said, "I'll take it!"
But my confidence in this bunch has definitely been shaken after today's display, specifically when they're on the road. I now have trust issues. It's tough to tell just which Saints team is going to show up each week. And there are a lot more areas of concern that need to be cleaned up than I'd like to admit at this point in the season: the one-dimensional offense, the atrocious offensive line, the poor run defense, Garrett f---ing Hartley. With the toughest part of their schedule still on the horizon, who the hell knows how the coming weeks are going to play out.
The Saints are at a crossroads. Their season can go two different directions from here. They can get their act together and show everyone why they're a force to be reckoned with or they can let mistakes and sloppy play continue to hold them in a pattern of averageness.
Is this a team of greatness or mediocrity? Because right now, it feels like it could go either way.