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Beignets and Café au Lait: One Game for a Chance to Get Into the Playoffs

And it’s a showdown against the Atlanta Falcons

Carolina Panthers v New Orleans Saints Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

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 (8-8) had to win against the Carolina Panthers (5-11) to have any chance to make it to the postseason this year. The Saints’ defense got the memo: after allowing a field goal in the first quarter and a touchdown early in the second quarter, the Saints never let the Panthers score again. To be precise, Carolina did not put up a single additional point in the last 43 minutes of the game. How heartbreaking it is then, that New Orleans’ offense is a complete shell of what it used to be in the early Drew Brees time in NOLA, because the defense that Dennis Allen has put together this season could win a Super Bowl. However, it can’t do it on its own, and the Saints’ offense is simply abysmal this season. The Saints finally scored a touchdown in their 18-10 win over the Panthers, it was their first touchdown in 11 quarters. Did I say abysmal?

But the Saints won, and in the end, as far as the 2021-22 NFL regular season is concerned, it’s all that mattered yesterday. New Orleans needs to win in Atlanta in the regular season finale, while having the San Francisco 49ers lose to the Los Angeles Rams. So, you’re saying there’s a chance? That’s right! It’s a slim one, but a chance nonetheless.


Beignets and Café au Lait Awards

Hot Beignets and Hot Café au Lait: Cam Jordan

Where is the fountain of youth? If you don’t know, ask Saints’ defensive end Cam Jordan. Earlier this season, Jordan looked like retirement was not such a bad option: he had zero sacks through five games, and only four sacks through 13 games played (note that Jordan missed the week 14 game because of COVID-19). Since returning to the lineup after sitting out, Jordan had two sacks against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, two sacks against the Miami Dolphins and 3.5 sacks against the Carolina Panthers yesterday. If you weren’t counting, that’s 7.5 sacks in a three-game span, which takes his season total to 11.5. In the blink of an eye, Jordan has rediscovered the burst that made him one of the most feared rush-ends in the NFL in the past decade. With the Saints’ offense sputtering, Jordan has led New Orleans defense and has given the team a chance to make it to the postseason for the fifth consecutive season.

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No Beignets and No Café au Lait: COVID-19

On top of being a disease that has killed millions of people worldwide and has driven the world crazy, COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on the world of sports. Yes, I know, sports are just that: games played by millionaires and watched by the masses. But history has shown that human beings need enjoyment, lest they all become unhinged psychopaths. Sports bring people together like few other things do in the world. There are few theaters where people of various races, socio-economic status and backgrounds gather like sports. And unfortunately, despite us now being in a new year, COVID-19 is still leaving destruction in its path. The Saints’ defense that we saw yesterday against the Panthers was decimated by COVID-19 a week ago when New Orleans played Miami. Had they been whole, maybe New Orleans is 9-7 today and in the playoffs. So, here’s to the last week of the NFL regular season not being marred by mass defections due to COVID protocols. Here’s to scientists finding a cure, or a better prophylactic. Here’s to COVID-19 being less of a nuisance on the world in 2022. Happy New Year everyone!


What’s Next?

The Saints will be facing off with the Atlanta Falcons (7-9) at 3:25 CT in the Mercedes Stadium in Atlanta next Sunday. The Falcons lost 29-15 to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, which eliminated them from playoff contention. However, you can bet anything you want that the Falcons will be itching to make sure that the Saints watch the playoffs along with them on TV. To make it to the postseason, the Saints need a win in Atlanta and a loss by the San Francisco 49ers (9-7) who play the Los Angeles Rams in a game that matters for the Rams when it comes to winning the NFC West crown and having a home playoff game. It all comes down to one game, against their most disliked rival, for a chance to get in the tournament. The NFL could not have wished for better theater. Grab your popcorn y’all, it’s about to get fun.

Poll

Will the Saints make the playoffs this season?

This poll is closed

  • 74%
    Yes!
    (204 votes)
  • 25%
    No!
    (69 votes)
273 votes total Vote Now

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