New Orleans suffered it’s first loss of the season last Saturday when hosting the Dallas Cowboys, a 24-17 disappointment for the Saints.
It wasn’t a total loss however as they did not need to win in hopes of a play-off berth, as did Dallas, that’s been assured for a few weeks now.
What they were playing for was the opportunity to lock up the number one seed in the NFC which would have secured them home field advantage throughout the play-offs.
The closest team to the Saints was the Minnesota Vikings, they lost a day later against the Panthers successfully keeping the Saints at a two game lead in the NFC.
No harm no foul.
Now a win against the Tampa bay Buccaneers will cement home field for New Orleans this week, their first ever in the history of the franchise, and coming off a poor performance against Dallas will be looking to make a statement.
In recent weeks the Saints have not been as dominant as they had through the beginning of the season and injuries aside have squeaked out a few wins until finally succumbing to Dallas.
Defensively the Saints have fallen rapidly in ranking as injuries have mounted, most notablly starting corners Jabari Greer and Tracy Porter were both sidelined for an entire month at the same time.
Porter made his return against Dallas, made an immediate impact, and Greer has returned to practice which makes his return imminent.
Offensively through the first twelve games of the seasons the Saints appeared to be unstoppable scoring points almost at will, but in recent weeks has failed to perform up to expectations.
Against Dallas the Saints put up 336 yards of offence which seems like a pretty decent number until you consider it is ninety yards less than their season average.
The seventeen points were also a season low.
The week before against the Falcons New Orleans put up 391 yards and twenty-six points, again well below their season averages.
It is funny to think of these totals as low, but in Saints terms it is a very low output.
Any way you dice it the Saints are anxious to get back on the winning track and the head coach promises the offense, and defense, will go full bore against the Buccaneers.
The Saints once again want to prove they are the team to beat in the NFC, want to secure hom field advantage, and surely want to let other NFC teams know the road to the Super Bowl runs through New Orleans.
Follow the New Orleans Saints through whodatdish.com at twitter.com/whodatdish.
Subscribe to who dat dish via RSS feed to get all your Saints news here