The New Orleans Saints have lost their Identity


Nov 16, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints middle linebacker Curtis Lofton (50) on the bench during the fourth quarter of a game against the Cincinnati Bengals at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Bengals defeated the Saints 27-10. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

If the overtime loss to the San Francisco 49ers was the punch in the gut, then yesterday’s horrid loss to the Cincinnati Bengals was the knockdown for the ten count.

The Saints were defeated 27-10 in front of an absolutely stunned and upset Superdome crowd. The Saints hadn’t managed that low of a point total at home since the 2006 season, when they were defeated by the Washington Redskins 16-10. The Saints had not been blow out that bad at home since 2007, when they lost to the Tennessee Titans 31-14. I personally haven’t seen the team dominated that much in the Superdome since the 2010 home loss to the Cleveland Browns, when the Saints were defeated 30-17.

So much for the notion that the Superdome would be the ‘saving grace’ for the Saints, as they’ve dropped their first back to back games since the 2012 season, which was without Sean Payton. It’s one thing to lose two in a row, but losing two in a row at home?

Three whole points is what the Saints went into the locker room with at halftime. That hasn’t happened since the Week 8 matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2010. Is that the type of effort you cheer?

Frustration has set in with the fans, players, and coaches. It only seems like this team is sitting on a powder keg, and we’re waiting for it to explode.

"“It’s frustrating because you don’t know what to do,” Vaccaro said. “What’s the solution? We prepare hard, we practice well, coach (Sean) Payton takes care of us. I have no answer.”"

Where do you begin to dissect what happened yesterday?

I can’t tell you how many times I personally heard that the sideline lacked ’emotion’ and ‘spark’ in yesterday’s game. The tackling was horrid, the effort was lacking, the coverage wasn’t right, the personnel matchups weren’t right, the play calls were bad, the defense couldn’t stop anyone on 3rd and however long it was, the offense was ineffective at rushing the ball, and the passing game couldn’t find any success downfield.

What’s even worse about the game yesterday is the fact that the Saints did not surrender a single sack on Drew Brees, and he didn’t throw any interceptions or turn the ball over. In fact, the team didn’t commit a single turnover until late in the game, when running back Travaris Cadet fumbled the ball. Thankfully, that preserved Sean Payton‘s 26-0 record when the Saints don’t commit a turnover.

This New Orleans Saints team has lost their identity, and they need to find it quickly. In fact, the only identity that you can safely associate with this team right now is their inability to stop teams in the fourth quarter, as they’ve given up the most points (37) in the league in the last four minutes of the game.

Where is the defense that was able to get off the field last season, and took the least amount of defensive snaps last year? Where did this team’s passion go? Why is there a clear lack of accountability? Why is this team really struggling this much? Where has the killer instinct gone that this team used to exhibit on a weekly basis?

It’s no longer roses and daisies for the black and gold, and making claims or comparisons to the 2009 Super Bowl run doesn’t help this current team five years later. Whether you say someone is a ‘true fan’ or not is meaningless, because you have the right to criticize the team you root for. Just ask the New York Jets’ fans.

The ultimate questions that are left in this season are, ‘Will the Saints get back up after being knocked down? Or, will the Ravens come in to deliver the knock out blow?’

Yes, the Saints have traditionally performed extremely well at home in prime time football, but what about their performance from yesterday suggests that this will be the case when they take on the Baltimore Ravens on Monday Night Football?

All of that being said, the Saints are far from being out of things right now in the embarrassing and hideous NFC South. Dare I say that the December showdown against the Atlanta Falcons could be for the division? However, they have to win football games, and the lack of effort displayed in yesterday’s game is completely and utterly unacceptable. You should be mad, and you deserve better.

I leave you with this to ponder: If the season were to end today, the Saints would own the 12th overall pick in the 2015 draft.

Sound off! What is wrong with the New Orleans Saints?