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Beignets and Café au Lait: Saints Keep Slim Playoffs Hopes Alive

With four games to go, New Orleans still has a pulse.

NFL: New Orleans Saints at New York Jets Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Hi Y’all!

We are back! The 2021-22 NFL season is underway, with the ecstasy of victory and the agony of untimely interceptions. So, let’s take a look at what happened in the Saints’ game yesterday. But before that...

As always, for our novice or non-New Orleanians readers, welcome!

Let’s start with some definitions:

Beignets (English: /bɛnˈjeɪ/; French: [bɛɲɛ], ben-YAY literally bump) are distinctly New Orleans, a delicacy intimately connected to the city’s rich French heritage. Best enjoyed heavily powdered with sugar.

Café au lait (/ˌkæfeɪ oʊ ˈleɪ, kæˌfeɪ, kə-/; French: [kafe olɛ]; French for “coffee with milk”) is a delicious New Orleans way to start your day.

This is your “After-Saints-Game” brunch, where we talk about the state of the Black and Gold, we debate the goings-on with the team and talk about what’s next at this point of the season. So, sit back, take a bite and a sip while your brain slowly wakes up, and let’s catch up on some football.


What Just Happened?

The New Orleans Saints snapped their five-game losing streak with a 30-9 defeat of the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium yesterday. The Saints, now 6-7 on the season, stayed in the Wild Card hunt as they are tied with four other NFC teams at 6-7, just behind the San Francisco 49ers who are 7-6. As you probably recall, this year as was the case in 2020, seven teams will make the playoffs in each conference: the four division winners and three Wild Cards. New Orleans is 11th in the 16-team NFC, but is tied by record with Washington (7th), Minnesota (8th), Philadelphia (9th) and Atlanta (10th). The Saints still play the Falcons, and already beat the Football Team. They lose the tiebreaker however against the Eagles, by virtue of the head-to-head win by Philadelphia over New Orleans in week 11 and will need to finish the season with a better record than Minnesota and Atlanta to overtake those teams. That the road to the playoffs isn’t yet closed for the Saints is quite a miracle, with all the injuries they suffered and after losing five consecutive games. With four games left in the regular season, there is still a lot to be decided and the nail in the Saints’ coffin hasn’t been hammered in just yet.


Beignets and Café au Lait Awards

Hot Beignets and Hot Café au Lait: Alvin Kamara.

After missing four games due to lower body injuries, AK41 came back and quickly reminded Saints’ fans what New Orleans’ offense has been missing: a dynamic player capable of turning lost plays into positive yards. Against the Jets on Sunday, Kamara accounted for 175 yards all on his own, 120 yards rushing and 25 receiving. He had a rushing touchdown and despite not having played in four games, was given 27 rushing attempts to only 6 for Tony Jones Jr. who served as his backup in the absence of Mark Ingram, who is on the COVID-19 list. Kamara is such a talented player that it is sad to see him buried in the mediocrity that is the 2021 Saints’ offense. Let’s hope that the Saints quickly figure out their quarterback situation for next year and do not waste the remainder of the prime of such a gifted running back.

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More Hot Beignets and Hot Café au Lait: Taysom Hill.

The Saints’ current starting quarterback is playing hurt and that is to no one’s surprise, Taysom Hill is as tough as they come. He has an injured finger on his throwing hand, an injury called mallet finger, one that to might require surgery this offseason if there are any complications, which is something that might occur since Hill is continuing to play with a splint on his finger rather than sit out and let the injury heal. Yesterday in New Jersey, Hill completed 15 of 21 passes for 175 yards. He also had 11 rushes for 73 yards and two rushing touchdowns. Hill’s best asset as a quarterback is the fact that he is a dual-threat. He will likely never become Drew Brees, or Steve Young, or even Lamar Jackson. But as a football player at the quarterback position, he is the best the Saints have now and deserves a lot of credit for showing up for his team and doing the best he can when he could just cash a paycheck and stand on the sideline.


What’s Next?

With only four games left in the regular season, the Saints’ playoffs odds are slim, but they are not dead just yet. One thing that could bolster them mightily would be a win against the powerful Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Bucs (10-3) are running away with the NFC South, four games clear of the second Falcons (6-7) and the third place Saints (6-7). New Orleans plays the Bucs on Sunday Night Football at 6:20 PM CT and a win against Brady and his bunch would keep an interesting streak, as the GOAT hasn’t beaten the Saints in the regular season yet since joining Tampa Bay before the beginning of the 2020 season. Can the Saints get it done? It will be a tall task, but that is why they play the games right?


Poll

Are you still interested in the Saints’ 2021 season?

This poll is closed

  • 72%
    Yes, rooting for them to win every game!
    (136 votes)
  • 3%
    Nope, I’m done with them this year. When’s the draft?
    (7 votes)
  • 2%
    Can’t they ever just tank right?
    (5 votes)
  • 19%
    It’s football, so I’m watching, with no expectations.
    (37 votes)
  • 1%
    Duh, I am always interested in a big, juicy bacon cheeseburger.
    (2 votes)
187 votes total Vote Now

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