The Saints beat the Seahawks 25-20 in the Superdome yesterday, much to the surprise of just about everyone. Especially me. I would have been eating cat food and shaving my head (not that I have any hair) right alongside Ralph and John had I been bold enough to make any predictions about the game.
Earlier this month the Saints managed to fall ass-backwards into a lucky win over the Chargers in Week 4. At the time, I said it was meaningless other than a check mark in the win column. I still stand behind that statement. We saw nothing from the Saints in that win to inspire any confidence moving forward and had the Chargers not gifted them two late turnovers it would have been yet another loss. They looked like garbage on defense, despite the final outcome.
But this win over the Seahawks is much different. This was the kind of performance I've been waiting to see all year from the Saints. It wasn't perfect - no NFL game ever is - and they almost choked it away in the end. But it was the first time this season we've seen the black & gold boys play a complete game. For 60 minutes everyone on offense, defense, and special teams finally showed up to play on the same day. What a novel concept!
I'll be the first to admit I had all but given up on any chance of making the playoffs this season. Not with the injuries to starters this team has had to endure and the lack of talent behind those starters courtesy of terrible front office decisions. But after this win over Seattle I'm going to let a little bit of that optimism creep back in. Just a little.
Sheldon Rankins and Delvin Breaux will be returning soon to help the defense. The young guys who were thrown into starting roles have now gained valuable experience and confidence. The Saints, as they should against an inferior opponent, will beat the 49ers this Sunday in San Francisco and be a .500 team in the thick of the NFC South standings right at the halfway point of the season. All will be right in the world again.
We'll see what happens from there.