Saints fans are tired of looking for the silver lining
Well, here we are again. Midway through the week after a disappointing Week One loss, trying to decide whether or not there were signs of optimism or if this horrendous effort is a harbinger of another losing season with no real shot at the playoffs.
You’ll forgive me for rolling my eyes at the same standard cliches from Sean Payton’s post-game presser, “dirty hands,” “we’ll take a look at the tape,” “we weren’t good enough.” No coach, you weren’t and you haven’t been for three years. And we’re damn tired of it.
Honestly, for those of you who work, can you imagine how your boss would react if you had the same glaring issue going on four years in a row? “Hey Todd, you’re great with the clients, but you can’t keep missing deadlines.”
If you kept missing deadlines guess what would happen? You’d be dusting off the resume and looking for a new job. In the NFL, the main charge of a head coach is to win football games, period. Sure, it’s great that we rank in the top 5 offensively year after year, but guess what? I’m sure everyone would rather rank 20th offensively and go to the playoffs.
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Coulda, woulda, shoulda
Could things have gone differently? Sure they could have. Maybe if Cam Jordan and A.J. Klein don’t collide and actually intercept that pass before the half it’s a different game. If the Saints fall on Murray’s fumble instead of the Vikings. If Zach Strief doesn’t go down. There are always what ifs.
But after three straight years of missing the playoffs, I will no longer squint to find an optimistic interpretation of what I saw.
Sam Bradford torched a secondary that once again looked like it had no idea what was happening. According to Pro Football Talk, he literally had the best game of his career.
Think I’m overreacting? Ponder this, after all the talk this offseason about starting fast, about the need to improve on the defensive side of the ball, when the Saints lined up for their first defensive snap of the year, they only had ten men on the field. That is inexcusable. Let me repeat, they only had ten men on the field. That falls directly on Sean Payton and Dennis Allen.
In the Dunc and Holder podcast this week, team columnist Jeff Duncan talked about how when he asked Drew Brees and Kenny Vaccaro about the game, they both tried to downplay it as just one game. Holder wasn’t having it, unleashing on the podcast. “It’s not just one game, it’s 49 games.” For those who, like me, struggle with math, 16 games over three seasons equal 48 games. Monday night’s fiasco makes it 49. Holder is correctly pointing out that we have been dealing with the same problems for 49 games.
I’ve been a sucker before over the last three years. “Stay calm, it’s only one game.” “The offense will get going.” “The defense will get better once they get healthy.” “They’re young, they’ll get it.” No more. NO MORE. Until the Saints actually prove it on the field, I’m done trying to conjure positivity from heartbreak.
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. The Saint shave fooled me three years in a row. I’m done, and most Saints fans are too. Put up or shut up. Win some football games and don’t waste the twilight of one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history. We’re all tired of hearing you talk about why you didn’t.