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The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: The First Half Defense, The Referees, and Brees’ Thumb

A tough loss to the Rams will be felt longer than just this week.

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Los Angeles Rams
Let’s rally and keep teddy upright next Sunday.
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

After a terrible game of injury and heartbreak the good, the bad, and the ugly are broken down on a Saints loss to the LA Rams.

A ton of emotions surrounded this game. Many Saints fans saw the Week 2 Rams matchup as a revenge match, while the players simply wanted to move on and treat the game as any other. However, this game was unlike any other game as the Saints players and fans would come to find out. Despite an early effort from the defense, the referee squad and an injury to Drew Brees proved insurmountable.

The first quarter brought tons of hope to the fans that maybe the Saints could pull off the win against rival LA Rams. The first drive of the game was ended by an unlucky Drew Brees interception on an attempt to Jared Cook. Despite the hardships the offense faced, the defense kept the team in the game early on.

The first half looked surprisingly great for the Saints defense by holding the high powered Rams’ offense to just two field goals. The defense then caused a fumble, and what should have been a touchdown (more on that in a moment). Cam Jordan looked great throughout the entire game, and elevated his squads play. The “first half” qualifier is very important when talking about “the good” because once the Saints returned for the second half, seemingly all life was sucked from the defense. The squad looked tired, and downtrodden while allowing Jared Goff and his Rams to carve up the Saints for three touchdowns in the second half.

It is quite unbelievable that the referees get to make a second consecutive appearance in “the bad” column this week. It could arguably be classified as “the ugly” if it were not for a particular thumb of one Drew Brees. Including the refs in this column is not some petty attempt to continue to gripe and moan about the “no-call”, instead it is completely valid to include them with yet another officiating debacle.

As previously mentioned, with about six-minutes left in the second quarter the Saints defense forced a Jared Goff fumble that was then returned for a touchdown by Cam Jordan, except it wasn’t... The play was originally considered an incomplete pass when the whistle was blown prematurely.

Sean Payton challenged the call, eventually having it overturned and ruled as a fumble. However, due to the call being blown dead prematurely (which is highly unusual and suspect) the Saints were not allowed the touchdown. Instead, the Saints were backed up on their own 13-yard line with backup Teddy Bridgewater at the helm. A clear momentum change in the game that just happened to be in the Rams’ favor.

Finally, the “ugly”. I will not belabor this point as just about every Who Dat has seen or heard about the catastrophic thumb injury that Drew Brees has incurred. Instead, I would like to hammer home that Teddy is a capable quarterback who should be given time and a chance to prove he is a adequate replacement for Drew Brees. The season is not lost, but the loss of Drew Brees will certainly be felt.