Saints hang tough with Chiefs but face a much harder Seahawks team this Sunday


The Saints battled this Sunday but came up short. The Black and Gold will need to be much better against the Seahawks to make the game close.

Sunday’s game against Kansas City was that game that proves that the New Orleans Saints, while better than an average team, is still who we thought they were – a beat up, banged up, rough around the edges, still not ready for prime-time team.  They are good enough to win some, not good enough to win others.  They are quite comparable to the team they lost to this week, the Kansas City Chiefs.  Kansas City is a good team, not a great team.  KC runs the ball better than we do, we pass the ball better than them.  Everyone plays better defense than us, but at least we didn’t give up 30+ today, although 27 is in the neighborhood…

There is certain to be finger pointing this week on Airline Drive.  Refs allowing a good bit of hand checking (both to our benefit and detriment), refs being quite literal about out of bounds (kept the clock running on us multiple times).  Receivers not doing a better job of getting out of bounds.  Veteran Nick Fairley with a rookie type lapse in judgement. Another Alabama school product, Mark Ingram, fumbling in the red zone. There was two very crucial turnovers. And the penalties – oh, the penalties.  I know Arrowhead Stadium is one of the loudest in the country, and a tough place to play, but I don’t think we had as many penalties in Seattle. And at a certain point, you have no more excuses for false starts and mistakes. You simply must do better.

The Saints scored on both of their first offensive possessions in each half. Each of their second possessions ended poorly – a pick 6 in the first half, a punt in the second half. For all the wonderful passes Drew Brees throws – and there are way too many to count – there are a few forced passes into too-tight windows that have resulted in costly turnovers.

But this game was more about getting outplayed during the meat of the game – getting outplayed when no one is really paying attention. Kansas City wasn’t making mistakes while the Saints were.  Alex Smith will not be in the Hall of Fame with Drew Brees. He may not ever outplay Drew Brees in a game. But he is the model of efficiency.

If there is any one thing that is killing the Saints, it’s injuries. Lack of quality depth (and in one glaring case, a deficient starter) is hampering the effort. Offensively, the line has done a fine job, but outside of the first game, it doesn’t seem that we’ve had all our offensive linemen in at their perceived positions. Defensively, we know the list of injured stretches long. We are reminded that every time we look at our position in the NFL’s rankings of defenses. As well, it seems that Jairus Byrd is unwilling to seriously engage in the game. Whether it’s due to the injuries of the past or something else is unknown, but again Byrd proved a liability on a big play, and was virtually invisible the rest of the game.

The Saints aren’t a terrible team. Two turnovers and nearly a football field’s worth of penalty yards and this team STILL only loses by a TD. They aren’t good, but they are good enough to win in the NFL. However, they aren’t good enough to overcome the crucial mistakes they made against the Chiefs and win.

The Saints will face their nemesis these past years, the Seattle Seahawks. This time though, the Saints finally get the birds in the dome. Hopefully, the Saints will be on top of their game. No mistakes and just maybe the Black and Gold have a chance.