Hello darkness, my old friend, I’ve come to talk to you again.
The New Orleans Saints were embarrassed on the national stage in the worst way possible courtesy of their NFC South rival, the Atlanta Falcons. The crushing 45-32 loss puts the Saints in a 0-3 hole for the third time in the past five years. Here’s a few things that we learned last night.
No one fears playing in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome anymore, and the Saints aren’t so good there these days
The last seven home games have not been kind to the Saints, as the team has allowed an average of 38 points per game (45, 35, 27, 35, 41, 34, and 49). The black and gold are 4-11 in their last 15 home games, and you could hear a roaring cascade of boos from fans from their clear discontent. It’s sad to think that the Saints would have to score at least five touchdowns just to be in a game at home.
The 80 points given up by the Saints in their first two home games set a franchise record, and that’s not the type of record you want to celebrate.
Coby Fleener, Brandon Coleman among players that stepped up
Coby Fleener was targeted 11 times on the night, and hauled in seven receptions for 109 yards and a score. His performance was more resemblant of the expectations for the free agent tight end when he joined the club. As for Brandon Coleman, he replaced Willie Snead and finished with seven catches on eight targets for 78 yards. Both needed to put in a positive game, and it’s a good sign for the Saints offense if they can continue to get them going.
The defensive depth is a big problem, and Dennis Allen’s defense is who we thought it was
Not having safety Kenny Vaccaro was one thing, but the absence of defensive tackle Tyeler Davison was a huge loss for the Saints front four. Let’s just be honest, John Jenkins and Paul Kruger aren’t particularly good in run defense. There were way too many instances the Falcons gashed the Saints up the middle, and there was little to no lane integrity.
Roman Harper did his best, all things considered, but when you have a team that’s been riddled with injuries like the Saints have been, you’d expect players that made the final roster to perform better. Teams like the New England Patriots have rarely had an issue filling the void left by big presence players.
Fans are fed up with seeing this tired old narrative
The Saints offense clicks, and the defense falters. The defense plays up to par, and the offense can’t deliver. And for the third straight week, we see a special teams blunder that leaves us wonder when someone is actually going to be held accountable. When is enough enough? I saw fans from Twitter summarize it best when they said we waited eight months for the Saints to return and all we get is the same result. Louisiana football is at a really weak point for the third straight year in a row.
History tells us that the Saints are headed for 7-9 again
Here’s a graphic that might pique your interest, as the Saints’ 0-3 start typically means they’ll wind up a 7-9 club again. Sure, there’s 13 games left on the schedule, and the Saints will presumably get healthier as the season moves along. However, will it be too little, too late?
Do yourself a favor and check out Jim Mora’s post-game rant on WDSU. It was pure gold.