The Saints won last week 35-34 against the San Diego Chargers in dramatic fashion. That’s a fact. The Saints are 1-3 on the season. That’s another fact. However, the state of the team has not changed since Sunday. There is happiness around Who Dat Nation, but unfortunately this is just a delay of the inevitable.
This is not secretive information, that the Saints will need to start making drastic changes soon. The timeline simply has been pushed back. Sean Payton knows it. Mickey Loomis knows it. Tom Benson knows it. The win Sunday did make Who Dat Nation happy, at least for the moment going forward into this week’s bye week.
I do believe a win is a win, no matter how it comes. The 1-3 record is much better than being 0-4 for sure. The biggest hurdle though is not so much getting this team to improve, which is desperately needed. The problem is the schedule for the next four weeks is brutal. The next game will be at home against Carolina which will be critical because of the division implications. Furthermore, the Saints can’t lose another division game being only five games into the season.
After that, the Saint play the Chiefs on the road, then Seattle at home, and finish the halfway point at San Francisco. The Panthers are not exactly lighting up anyone at the moment, and the Saints can surely can beat Carolina at home. It’s just hard to see the Saints going 3-1 in this stretch to get back at .500.
Perhaps my pessimism has taken over for this year. I’m just not seeing it. The Saints do deserve credit for trying at least one thing different against the Chargers. They did stick with the run. The only problem is that the average was just above two yards a carry. They ran the ball for 83 yards on 34 attempts. That was a huge increase from last week against the Falcons when they only ran the ball 23 times. That’s about a 50% increase.
The secondary though still looks lost. It’s not a lack of effort or focus. The main problem is simply experience. There were times that holes were visible because of missed assignments. Sometimes, there were communication issues. Gaining experience is not something a team can speed up. Patience really is the only word that can explain the inconsistent play in the secondary so far.
Are Saints fans willing to wait another year for those players to mature? It’s just not realistic to expect stellar play on every down, with the players that are starting right now. It would be nice to hear from Sean Payton, as far as what is the team’s goals are going forward into the next four games. Payton is doing the best he can this year with what he has.