Nov 30, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) celebrates a touchdown with tackle Terron Armstead (72) and tackle Zach Strief (64) during the second half at Heinz Field. The Saints won the game, 35-32. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports
It feels like it’s been an eternity since the New Orleans Saints and their fans have had something to cheer about. Yesterday’s 35-32 upset victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers shocked many, as nearly 85 percent of fans chose the Steelers. Drew Brees said last week that this team just needed a win to start righting the ship for the rest of the season.
"“Winning cures a lot of things,” -Drew Brees"
Yesterday’s performance resembled that of the New Orleans Saints we were hoping would be in full force when this season began. As the team’s morale has been increasingly deflated over the past few weeks, yesterday was the first time in quite a while where I personally witnessed a change.
Players and coaches smiled. Players celebrated with one another on the sidelines. Coaches smiled and embraced one another. The sideline celebrated more after big plays and ‘almost’ big plays. Overall, you just got the impression that for the first time in a long time, the team was having ‘fun’. It felt like that ‘swagger’ was restored to this team.
The Saints were able to get results from a number of players yesterday, and it was mainly the guys who don’t typically make the most noise. Erik Lorig, Benjamin Watson, and Nick Toon scored three of the Drew Brees’ touchdowns, while Kenny Stills and Marques Colston chipped in with the others. On defense, players like Patrick Robinson and Corey White excelled, while Cam Jordan stepped up in a huge way to make a game changing play. Curtis Lofton and David Hawthorne led the way for the defense with 10 tackles each.
With four games left in their season (Panthers, Bears, Falcons, Buccaneers), the Saints appear to control their own destiny in the NFC South. They’ll have to break their three-game losing streak at home when they take on the Carolina Panthers, but if the team from yesterday shows up, then they should win.
Overcoming adversity is the theme for the 2014 New Orleans Saints, and it appears that they are up to the challenge.
It may have only been one game, but it certainly feels like the ‘spark’ to ignite the team for the rest of the way. We’ll find out if that’s the case over the next month.