Sep 27, 2015; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen (88) catches the ball as New Orleans Saints cornerback Brandon Browner (39) defends in the second quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
The New Orleans Saints find themselves in a hole very early in the season for the third time in four years. The odds and deck are heavily stacked against the Saints, as well as the Baltimore Ravens, Detroit Lions, and Chicago Bears, who also find themselves at 0-3. If you haven’t heard, only five teams in NFL history have overcome an 0-3 start to make the playoffs, and only three have done so since 1990. Furthermore, no 0-3 team has ever made the Super Bowl.
Things were not supposed to start this way. It was supposed to be different. High priced free agents were supposed to make a big difference, but they can’t seem to get on the field because of health issues. Getting rid of the negative distractions in the locker room was supposed to give us different results, however losses keep piling up. We look for instant gratification from the changes, but the brutal reality remains that the Saints season is rapidly dissipating.
If you had high hopes and expectations for the 2015 New Orleans Saints, you’ve likely abandoned them by now. If that isn’t the case, you’ve at least lowered them. No one is suggesting that the season is over for the black and gold, at least not mathematically. With 13 games to go, crazy things can certainly happen. However, the Saints will have to do something that hasn’t been done in the preseason and through their first three games, and that’s win.
In fact, the New Orleans Saints have not won a game since December 28, 2014. Fans are becoming increasingly frustrated, and expect more.
The Saints haven’t been blown out in any of their respective games, and they’ve played tough all the way until the final play. If you would have told me a team led by Luke McCown, not Drew Brees, would have only lost by five points and have a very productive outing before yesterday, the first reaction would have been to casually laugh it off and dismiss it.
Injured players will come back, but we have to wonder if it will be too little, too late. Young players are making tremendous impacts, which is incredible for the future of this team. You get the sense and feeling that pieces are slowly coming together.
Is there hope?
They say that you take it one game at a time, and I believe that’s the accurate course of action. You can get wrapped up in the fact that NFC South foes Atlanta and Carolina are sitting high and mighty on top of the division at 3-0, but remember when the Saints were in a similar situation last season? This is football. The impossible happens, and that’s just how it rolls.
We can cite examples of historic teams that have bounced back from troubled starts, rough middles, and dismal finishes. Arguably, the character and chemistry came together when it ultimately counted. We’d be having completely different conversations if we saw a team that gave up, like last year’s squad.
In a nutshell, the offense needs a playmaker and the defense needs to muster a pass rush. The two sides need to feed off each other, meaning that when the offense plays well, the defense should equal that play, and vice versa. That simply hasn’t been happening. If we dig further into the tape, we can find and scrutinize individual players and respective disciplines.
Whether or not you ultimately agree that the Saints season is over is irrelevant. Optimists and pessimists will side with one extreme or the other, regardless of the facts. However, we can all agree that as of right now, this team is in trouble, and needs to get it together fast. They need a spark to ignite them, and something to unify them.
Until that happens, we continue to fear the worst and sit and wonder when the New Orleans Saints can notch their first win in 2015. As of today, it’s been 337 days since the black and gold have had a win in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.