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Sorting the rubble

Quick Note: SBN just launched our new NFL Draft site, Mocking the Draft, run by Matt Miller. I've linked Matt's work before -- he's exceptionally knowledgeable. With the Saints' playoff odds looking dire, it's probably time to shift into draft mode. Thankfully, we've got a ridiculously good draft site to keep us occupied until next March.

Here's what writers from around the internets are saying about the Saints this week:

Forget the numbers. We've dilly-dallied with them enough this season, searching for mathematical ways to keep the Saints relevant.

The numbers speak of possibility, but the caliber of play says the playoffs are no more than a dream. The play says New Orleans is 5-7 and hasn't shown it can win the games it needs to win, because the team seems to break out in a rash if it approaches or touches .500. And it'll need to win three of the last four to get to .500, and probably all four to have much more than a prayer.

What on God's green earth was that stupid shovel pass from Reggie Bush on a reverse with 3:36 left in a game the Saints led 23-20 over Tampa Bay, and why would Bush toss it when he saw the wideout was too far away to have a chance to catch it?

[ED. NOTE: Read this article]

There was a fumble that Reggie Bush was fortunate to recover.

There were two short passes that slipped through his hands.

Then there was the inaccurate, no-look toss on a botched trick play that may go down as the moment New Orleans truly blew its chance to get back into playoff contention.

Yet, more than any of those, the images that seemed to symbolize Bush's difficult second season occurred off the field at the end of the Saints' 27-23 loss to Tampa Bay.

Bush was walking toward the tunnel leading to the Superdome locker room while what was initially called a fumble by Saints kick returner Lance Moore was in the process of being overturned. There were 14 seconds left, and head coach Sean Payton had to run Bush down and angrily order him back to the bench.

After the game, Bush sat in front of his locker for more than a half hour, still in uniform, with his hands on his head as he stared at the floor.

To second guess "the play" is the easiest thing in the world to do in hindsight.  But with foresight, it should have been nearly as easy.

Sean Payton took the blame, as he should have.  The players took the blame for their teammates' mistakes, as they should have.  And Reggie Bush "took a powder" when it came to saying anything about anything, as he shouldn't have.

Reggie Bush is not a superstar.  Right now he's not even a star.  It may seem heretical for a Saint fan to admit that.  But at this point in a season that's three-quarters over, there is simply too much evidence to the contrary.

[ED. NOTE: Ladies and gentlemen, the voice of the Saints]