It has been a rough two weeks for the Saints and their fans. Back-to-back gut-wrenching losses.
Two weeks, two losses. Two confusingly different performances. It takes it’s toll on me. All offseason I obsess; I check for news every five minutes when there hasn’t been and won’t be news for weeks. I ache for football, I ache for the preseason, I ache to see how we play this year. And as I obsess, I start to believe that the team has potential. I believe we can win it all. Now, two games in, and I can’t even open twitter. Already, I’m tired of the heartbreak.
I still can see that the team has talent. These first two games have shown us just that: our offense can still be unstoppable, and our defense, even through adversity, can finally keep an opponent out of the end zone.
And yet, literally against all odds, that hasn’t been enough. We’re 0-2, and twice in the history books. We’re the first team to ever lose with a quarterback that throws for 400 yards, 4 touchdowns, and no interceptions. And we’re the first team to ever lose with 0 turnovers and a defense that forces 3, while not allowing an offensive touchdown. We lost on a blocked FG returned for six. Frustration doesn’t do it justice.
It’s bizarre to realize how much easier it is to watch the Saints when I know how they’re going to play: well on offense, poorly on defense. It’s the Sean Payton Way, and I’ve grown comfortable with it. If anything, it gives me something to laugh about.
Not this. I’m too disappointed to laugh. Yes, I am somewhat frustrated by a defense that has repeatedly dragged down one of the best quarterbacks of all time into losing seasons. But I’m used to it. After watching a hobbled, crippled secondary puff up their chests and hold their own against arguably the best receiver group in the country, only to see our offense crumble and give the game away, I feel a different kind of disappointment.
It’s one thing when the unit expected to struggle costs us the game. I can handle those loses. It’s another when that same unit defies logic and plays with so much heart, overcoming a scary injury to an already depleted secondary yet managing to keep NY out of the end zone for the whole game—only to lose because our offense can’t find a rhythm. That’s frustrating. That’s disappointing.
I don’t care that the offense got beat by maligned former Saints defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. I don’t care that the refs made some head-scratching calls on the game winning drives for both Oakland and NY. Losses are losses; what I hate is to watch our defense play above its pay grade, finally, for once, and for it to amount to nothing. And, okay, maybe I do care a bit about the refs.
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