No matter how you choose to slice it, the New Orleans Saints aren’t going to the playoffs in 2016. Sure, there’s three games left in the season, but let’s be honest for a second. What from the past two performances have actually inspired you to think the team will transform into contenders? It’s over.
Assuming this all holds its course, it’ll be the fourth time in the past five years that the Saints have missed the playoffs, which begs the question: Is this team just not that good anymore?
No doubt, fans have endured a lot over the past decade, but likely more in the past five years. 2012 could be forgiven, because the NFL wrongfully took out Sean Payton after the alleged Bounty Gate hoopla. 2013 reassured us that the team was back, and while it didn’t end like anyone wanted to, it was a huge statement to rebound.
However, 2014 sent this team into a major tailspin, and fast forward through broken locker rooms, poor starts, dead money, draft busts, free agent whiffs, and not being able to deliver when it counts the most, and the reality is that the Saints have won 19 out of their past 45 games.
Change was promised for repeated failures on defense. It came and actually showed up. You can’t fault the defense and Dennis Allen for what they’ve been able to do, especially being down key players. But this frustrating paradigm exists that when one area does its thing, the other just falls flat. Drew Brees went from being a quarterback forgotten among the NFL’s MVP conversation to just looking like another quarterback after two straight 3 interception games without a touchdown.
The Saints have one touchdown in their past eight quarters, and it’s quite a coincidence since there was a play calling change. The team who was able to overcome their 0-3 death sentence to pull to 4-4 and start entering the conversation as a sleeper contender for the playoffs seems laughable at this point. The Saints have managed to lose four of their past five, and now the same 6-10 and 7-9 record predictions at the start of the season we so casually laughed off are now an inevitable reality.
#Saints fan pulse: Who do you blame for this season's failures?— Canal St. Chronicles (@SaintsCSC) December 12, 2016
Through our community poll, fans have been adamant in voting on this season’s woes. General manager Mickey Loomis and head coach Sean Payton are in a close battle, with Payton leading in the voting. Of course, we pose the question to our Canal Street Chronicles community: Who is to blame for the Saints failures in 2016 and why?
As we count down the final weeks, at least we can say 2017 has a bright start to it.