The Semantics of Disappointing Versus Discouraging
Sean Payton said after the game, “It’s definitely disappointing,” and then after a pause added, “but not discouraging.”
I am not sure what to do with this statement and what it is that he could possibly be seeing that I am not. I could understand the sentiment he’s feeling if this loss wasn’t coming off the heels of that crap in St. Louis that made this game the most important, disappointing, discouraging and, frankly, disgusting loss in Saints regular season history.
Is he just talking about his team and the manner in which the game was lost in the final seconds, not how they ended up in that situation to start with? If I were in Payton’s shoes, I’d be reflecting more on my own inability to put together a winning game plan and a quarterback throwing costly interceptions early in these games – by running the plays I called. After putting together a 97 yard drive – the only actual successful drive of the game – Payton chickened out and didn’t even attempt to get a game clinching first down. Why not though, right? I mean, the Saints defense was eating the Panthers lunch and had kept the game within reach for the past 58 minutes, so why not just put it on them to make up for the offense’s ability to just get it done. Three consecutive runs into a small mountain of bodies with no intention of advancing the ball, instead of maybe running a pitch to the outside (something we haven’t seen in way too long) that would have had much more actual yard gaining potential than running the ball up the ass of our own offensive linemen. If the pitch didn’t get the first, the time still would have run off the clock, but at least you wouldn’t have shown that your previous “Let’s win this game right here and right now” attitude of coaching is gone and in disclosing this fact, giving Cam Newton (who’d probably already quit before you did) the confidence to march down the field and stick it in all of our hearts because you’d already conceded that you’d done enough to win. You arrogant prick.
We all saw the camera catch Payton indicating that it was “His bad,” when Drew audibled to a screen with 2 seconds on the play clock that got blown up in the backfield in the third quarter, but we should have seen it about 30 more times. I’m almost convinced that there is only one audible when Brees changes the play at the line after Sunday, and it’s a screen of the ill-advised fashion.
Let’s face it: The Saints can’t win when it matters on the road. Go ahead and tell me about their overall road record under Payton, but don’t forget to talk about the category of road games that were big games, because that record is not the same. If the home field advantage of the Dome is that important – and we all know it is – then you’ve got to be able to win one or two important road games. New England? Debatable as to the actual cause of loss and its significance in the big picture. Seattle? Would have been huge. St. Louis? Would have made it so losing Sunday wouldn’t have had the same implications it has. Carolina? I’m not even going there.
If (can you believe we’ve got to say if right now?) the Saints make it to the playoffs, they are going to have to do it “the hard way” and only because they can’t handle a road game when something is on the line.
So am I disappointed but not discouraged? That’s a really tough question. I am absolutely ambivalent right now. I do not know what to think or feel other than that I shouldn’t care so much about this team and how they fare on Sundays. Obviously, I’m disappointed. Who isn’t? But I do believe in the players on this team. I do believe in Sean Payton. I am just not as comfortable in doing so presently as I was earlier this season and am therefore somewhat discouraged. I don’t know if this team is capable of winning against playoff teams with the brand of football they’ve been playing – that brand not being what we’ve come to know as Saints Football. For years now (excluding 2012) we’ve been able to believe in this team, who they were and what they were doing from top to bottom and the problems were easy to diagnose because they usually involved the execution aspect of the game, not the scheme and overall philosophy behind it all.
How can you have the balls to call that onsides kick in the same game that you chickened out of getting a game/division/# 2 seed-clinching first down. Payton needs to decide that he’s going to roll with “option A” of his multiple personalities and win every game like it’s the last game he’s ever going to coach, pretty much get back to being the guy who started the year with his very own Official **** You Tour around the NFL, and restore some actual faith, not just reserved hope paired with generations of love, in this fan base, not to mention his team.
This one is going to hurt and may go down in history as one of the biggest Saints regular season losses in not only the Payton era, but in Saints history.
I guess we’ll learn all there is to learn next week against Tampa. And then question everything we have believed because of what we learned. Beautiful metaphor for life, this game of football is. The ride on which it takes you, whether you’re willing or not, is something that gets passed down from one generation to the next, and my generation is supposed to be that of “These ain’t yo daddy’s Saints.” One thing’s for damn sure, these ain’t my daddy’s Saints. Those Saints always had only one or two pieces of the puzzle and always left you wishing we could have a team “like that”.Well, these Saints have all the pieces. There isn’t any particular group that needs a huge upgrade, just some better coaching from the highest paid coach in the league who seems to have developed a penchant for crapping his pants whenever it actually matters.
Disappointed or discouraged, I’ve still got faith.
Who Dat, god damn it.