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What We Learned: Saints can beat Falcons, but not when they saddle Zebras and “Ride” south for Winter

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Litany of injuries - No Worries, Short Week - Cool, Refs doing their best Montreal screw job impression - Pure idiocy and Saints suffer because of it.

The Saints got hosed last night, and it wasn’t the garden variety either.

Nope.

This was definitely from the fire truck collection with oddly striped dalmatians instead of spotted ones aiding the cause.

At the end of regulation, I saw a team that was drenched in a black and white substance goo - that offered up the odd stench of hippopotamus manure.

This game was littered with Phantom of the Opera calls, and it was only fitting that the final one that put the proverbial nail in the coffin was on Sean Payton for attempting to call a timeout.

Blasphemy.

If you read my Keys to Victory piece, I mentioned momentum. I talked about a reduced playbook (that happened when Alvin Kamara went out), and I talked about how the short week would affect them. These were all kinds of things we expected, but having to beat the refs too was not something you foresaw.

Seriously, this tweet by Duncan will not age well (eye roll)

It’s cool though folks.

I’m going to side with Kenny Vaccaro here and suggest that much like the loss to the Rams, it only proves just how good this team is.

“We were down six or seven guys and in it all the way until the end,” Vaccaro said. “This loss showed a lot about the team we have. If that happened in the past, how many guys we lost, I don’t think the game would even be close. It just shows the resilience we have in the locker room.” - Kenny Vaccaro

In Vaccaro’s honor, I’d like to bake a cake. Shall we?

Ingredients:

  • 8 in-game injuries (Alvin Kamara, Mark Ingram, Senio Kelemete, Trey Hendrickson, A.J. Klein, David Onyemata, Ted Ginn Jr., Kenny Vaccaro)
  • 5 Prior Injuries (Alex Okafor, Andrus Peat, Delvin Breaux, Zach Strief, Alex Anzalone)
  • 10 Penalties
  • 1 short week
  • 1 Rare Sean Payton brain fart
  • 1 Rare Drew Brees brain fart

If you nay nay, then whip all that together and put it in the oven for 60 minutes on 283 degrees, you get a Barely Cake. As in, after all that the Falcons barely beat the Saints by a measly zebra assisted 3 points.

Miscellaneous Notes

  • Terrible time by Sean Payton to call the number of a lesser player (Josh Hill). That’s crunch time. Either you run the ball once more and force them to use a TO, or you call the number of one of your playmakers like, IDK Michael Thomas, who up to that point had been clutch. Anybody but your UDFA TE vs. their 3rd round MLB who has better talent.
  • Brees looked like he zeroed in on Josh Hill. He was going nowhere else with that ball, and that’s the type of mistake I expect from Matt Ryan, not Brees. Reminiscent of the Seattle play that cost them the SB. INT was worst possible thing that could happen and it did.
  • The roughing the passer call on Sheldon Rankins was trash wrapped in moldy socks.
  • Marcus Williams has got to kneel the ball in the end zone for the touchback. As Sean Payton likes to say, that’s what you call losing the “hidden yardage” game.
  • Ken Crawley’s dropped INT was significant. Pretty much like multiple games this year it affirms the fact that Dennis Allen is calling good games and putting players in good positions. Guys aren’t making the plays at high levels. I think he and Klein, between them, have at least 10 dropped INTs.
  • Manti Te’o played his butt off, but he also dropped an INT (penalty would have negated it anyways) and couldn’t make a play when the defense and the team needed it.
  • Shout out to Marshon Lattimore. Having missed nearly three full games, you knew his conditioning was off. Kid was on the sidelines getting oxygen for a good chunk of the game, and per Crawley was coughing up blood at one point. Yet, like much of the team, he kept fighting.
  • I almost feel like this is destiny. Personally, this team has functioned better as nomads with our biggest signature wins of the season coming in road games (Panthers, Miami, Bills). The offense is still short a few weapons that would allow them to pinball teams in the dome like they want to, and away games seem to urge the coaches to play to our strengths (Run/Defense).

And just like that, I’m over it. We get ten days of rest for a ton of injuries that weren’t of the lingering or extended stay in the training room variety. I can dig that! If I were a betting man, then I’d say this will be a livid team upon their return to the field. This was an important game, and they know they were given the Shaft - No Samuel L. I expect they’ll bounce back just like they’ve shown all season, and the Jets will be walking into a buzzsaw on December 17th in the Dome. Let’s get away from it all and return to splitting wigs next week people.

As far as Atlanta - In the words of Dr. Claw - We’ll get you next time Falcons...next time!