Salvaging the Saints Season: Is it even possible?


Nov 24, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton talks to quarterback Drew Brees (9) in the second quarter of their game against the Baltimore Ravens at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Saints just keep losing, and it’s been in the most uncharacteristic ways possible. Or has it been? Last week, I talked about the Saints losing their identity, and now we might be able to safely say that this team never had one.

The Saints have dropped three straight contests at home, which suggests that the once stellar confines of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome are now figments of the imagination.

Last night’s game can be summed up into three areas: the Drew Brees pick six, a break down in protection from the offensive line, and the lack of any type of defense.

The Saints were outscored 88-61 in the stretch against the 49ers, Bengals, and Ravens. The Saints’ defense was gashed for opposing team rushing performances of 144, 186, and 215 yards. Drew Brees was sacked six times in that stretch, fumbled, and threw three interceptions.

You can play the blame game, and point the finger at just about anyone at this point. There’s a plethora of theories: a busted draft, wrong personnel choices, free agency failures, Rob Ryan’s ineffective play calling, Sean Payton’s play calling, Drew Brees lack of superstar play, the defense’s inability to get off the field on third downs, the defense being non-existent, the lack of turnovers, the horrid offensive line play, or whatever else comes to mind.

The New Orleans Saints can’t catch a break.

The loss to the 49ers was the punch to the gut, the embarrassing performance against the Bengals was the knock down, and last night’s defeat was perhaps the TKO.

When you think about the Saints at home this season, one might say that the game against the Green Bay Packers was the only confident display of how the New Orleans Saints typically perform.

As the Saints prepare for their next outing, a road contest with the Pittsburgh Steelers, it’s hard to feel encouraged by anything. The Saints, much like the rest of the NFC South, sport a horrid record against the AFC North this season. At 0-3, the Saints may likely be swept next week. If you thought the Ravens brought pressure last night, then wait until you see what Dick LeBeau has in store.

We can cling to hope, and think that the Saints can do the impossible, but it’s hard to find any source of optimism when the balloon has been deflated completely, maybe even popped. Major changes are on the horizon during the offseason, and it’s hard to pinpoint where you even begin to start.

At 4-7, the Saints’ season isn’t technically over, but it looks bleak. The lack of leadership, mental and physical prowess, and ability to execute suggests that this team may not be able to pick up the pieces to salvage their season. However, stranger things have happened in the NFL. I talked about five Saints who must ‘catch fire’ down the stretch in order for the team to success, and only one of them (Marques Colston) seemed to do that last night.

The New Orleans Saints season has not looked right from the very start, and at this point, would you even want to win the division and host a playoff game?