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Greatness or Mediocrity: Saints at a Crossroads

With the 2013 NFL season now halfway over, the New Orleans Saints have shown us flashes of brilliance and glimpses of weakness. What is the true identity of this team and where will it take them in the second half of the 2013 season?

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

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.

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