The New Orleans Saints are on their way to their third losing season in the last four years, and quite frankly, not winning is getting old.
They’re not there yet, but the way the New Orleans Saints are playing at the moment is leading me to believe we’re looking at the worst team in the Sean Payton–Drew Brees era. There are still five more games for the them to either prove me wrong or validate my point, but let’s be honest here — they are bad.
With a handful of winning seasons, three division titles and a Super Bowl ring, the “Who Dat Nation” has been spoiled since 2006. But Sunday’s loss to the Houston Texans put the Saints in their biggest hole of the year, where they’re now sitting dead last in the NFC South with a distasteful 4-7 record and very little chance, if any, at heading their repulsive 2015 campaign back in a positive direction.
Similar to last season but even worse, miscommunication has played its roll to an unimaginable level, as well as a lack of talent and depth at certain positions. But questions are beginning to stretch further than just the players.
Between poor draft choices who never broke out in the NFL, misses in the free agent market, and questionable contract decisions, it seems to all finally be catching up to them. And before you point you finger at general manager Mickey Loomis, one man can’t take all the blame.
A head coach’s job is to build chemistry between the players, figure out schemes, help his team both individually and as a whole learn from its mistakes and get better, and of course, win games. Sean Payton has turned in only two winning seasons since 2011 for a franchise that has arguably been one of the most consistent organizations over the last decade.
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It’s not to say Payton hasn’t done a phenomenal job since taking his talents to the Big Easy. He has been far from what was initially expected when he joined the Black and Gold in 2006. Nobody ever could have even imagined a Super Bowl title down on the bayou, but it happened, and it was and still is an amazing accomplishment for a team once nicknamed the “Aints.”
But as the New Orleans Saints are beginning to turn in more losses than wins (29-30 since 2012), their recent struggles are quite reminiscent to those brown paper bag days. It’s hard to count 2012 against Payton since he was suspended from the NFL for the team’s “Bountygate” scandal. But then again, he wasn’t there to coach his team, which is certainly not a good thing.
While it may seem like my my angle here is blaming Payton, it’s not. However, whatever is going on now is simply not working. Whether it’s a head coaching problem, a management issue, player performance, scheming and play calling, a distraction due to owner Tom Benson‘s unfortunate family struggle to maintain control of his New Orleans Saints and Pelicans empire, or all the above, something isn’t clicking, and it’s showing on the field.
You play to win the game, and when the Saints don’t win, the fans aren’t happy. In fact, after being pampered for nearly a decade, the losing thing seems so new, yet, it’s getting oh so old, so fast.
This franchise is a mess from top to bottom and is in line for some change. Whether it’s finding a new head coach, doing some repairing in the positional departments, parting ways with rich contracts, or again, all the above, some adjustments are likely coming. The problems the New Orleans Saints are facing can’t be fixed overnight, and aren’t going to get fixed in one offseason with their current situation, whatever that may be.
There’s always a chance for another run before the Payton-Brees era officially comes to an end if it hasn’t already, but that’s not going to be this year, obviously. Change must happen somewhere before New Orleans can once again be home to a dominating NFL franchise, but the clock is indeed ticking. Buckle up, Who Dat Nation — it’s going to be a bumpy ride.