Saints Travel to St. Louis Only to Take a Dump on Their Playoff Hopes
My dog rolled around in some other neighborhood dog’s crap the other day, and I got him all cleaned up. Since that makes me an expert in getting the layer of poo off of things, I can promise you that it’s possible to wash the stains off this team no matter how permanently covered they look in our minds this morning. Just because it’s possible, doesn’t mean it’s going to happen,so let’s talk about the feces. I mean, could the Saints have made more of a turd out of their game yesterday?
The questions about this team being able to play on the road have mainly been centered on their inability to handle the elements. Well, they proved yesterday that they just flat out suck on the road, regardless of the conditions. In a half-empty Edward Jones Dome against a team that had already been eliminated from the playoffs, Drew Brees led the Saints to what is possibly their most deserved loss of the year. His two interceptions put the Saints behind the eight ball from the get go and his accuracy was garbage all night, save a few good throws. (He very easily could have ended the game with four or five picks.)
To have what is widely regarded as one of the NFL’s elite offenses blow like that when there wasn’t even crowd noise to deal with boggles my mind. I haven’t given up on this team, but I have changed my stance on “trap games.” I’ve said for years that there are only 17 weeks in the NFL season, therefore making it damn near impossible to overlook any team for any reason. The garbage product put on the field by the Saints – in all phases of the game – leads you to believe that they thought they could go up to St. Louis and win just by getting off the bus. They got punked, pushed around, had plays blown up before they were even called in the huddle. Top to bottom: everyone was garbage. And when I say top, I mean Sean Payton. It looks like we’re dealing with the 2008, inflexible, egomaniacal Payton who kept that year’s team mediocre. We all saw the footage of Ryan talking to Bill Johnson and Joe Vitt after being exposed (on which particularly embarrassing drive, I can’t remember) and he walked off saying, “Fuck that,” only to be followed by the Saints offense screwing the pooch to have a scene of Payton going over things with Brees. We saw the benching of Charles Brown, who admittedly deserved having his ass benched, and after seeing all of that, I asked myself, “Shouldn’t these meetings and benchings have taken place during team meetings and practice during the week leading into the game?”
If you cannot beat the St. Louis Rams to guarantee yourself a spot in the playoffs, there is something wrong with your team’s focus. As things stand now, if the Saints can somehow pull a win out of their ass in Charlotte next Sunday, that’s that. The Saints get the #2 seed and can chill until the playoffs. If they lose to the Panthers, they’re going to need some help to get the two seed…from the Falcons (who will tank out of spite) in week 17. They’d need the Falcons to beat the Panthers and also beat the Bucs in the Dome. Lose to the Panthers Sunday with Carolina beating the Falcons in week 17, then the Saints must beat Tampa just to get the wildcard. Losing to Tampa after losing to Carolina could leave the Saints sitting at home in January – but only if Arizona and San Francisco finish 11-5. Talk about blowing a huge opportunity.
To avoid all of those scenarios, all they had to do was beat the Rams. Kellen Clemens, God damn it. The defense got torched by a backup quarterback and a 5th round rookie in Zac Stacy. I really wonder if things could have gone worse than they did. That Rams team is not a good team (although they’ve got a more than solid defensive line), and the Saints have flashed greatness this year, but it is this kind of inconsistency that is going to bite them in the ass. St. Louis is not a complete team like the Saints supposedly are. they do not have fixtures on their offense. They haven’t won anything important since Kurt Warner was around, and they outplayed a team with skins on the wall and everything that they are missing. Go-to guys. Players who are the among the best in the league at their positions. A Super Bowl winning Head Coach.
I’m sure there’s a lot of bitching about Hartley, which is more than well-deserved today. He looked just as bad as the rest of the team. Slow to get to the ball. Kicking hooking knuckleballs. Sign a veteran kicker and plant his ass on the bench. Don’t just bring in some kickers because, “We’re always evaluating talent and doing our homework. The kickers we’ve brought in have nothing to do with Garrett Hartley or his performance. Garrett Hartley’s job is safe.” If that line of crap was the truth then, it better not be now. Garrett Hartley didn’t lose the game yesterday, but he did look so bad that I’m surprised Morstead wasn’t called on to fill in for the rest of the game. Hartley looked bad. but on the list of things that need to be fixed, he’s got to be somewhere around #4.
Sean Payton stated in his book that one of the most important teachable moments of his coaching career was when the team was in Miami for the Super Bowl and certain players showed up late for media day after having the night off. He called it “Creating a Crisis.”(Something he had learned from Bill Parcells) He said he used that opportunity to tell the team that they looked like a team that was just happy to be in the Super Bowl and didn’t care about winning it. Well, I’d say now is a good time to do just that. Create a crisis. This team looks like a team that has been reading their own press clippings and is happy just to have a winning record after the garbage season they had last year. If they can’t find the urgency to win now, they have no business going to the playoffs anyway. If they can’t beat the Rams, who the hell are they going to beat in the playoffs?
Yeah, I’m pissed. Pissed that the team I put so much faith in to handle their business late in the season with a playoff spot on the line crapped the bed the second they got the ball on offense and then continued to roll around in it as if to make sure they were completely covered in it. Well, guys, if that was your goal, congratulations on the accomplishment. Now, get the hose out and wash that shit off.
Jesus Christ. This one is going to take a few days to let go of.
Who dat? (I guess)