A win is a win. In Week 15 though, the Saints offense continued a third week of not looking up to par. But there are positives to be pulled from the negatives.
The Saints Week 15 win on the road in Carolina was a low-scoring affair. I should start with all the good news. I want to engage the readers who are either always positive-minded and/or those who are looking for positives overall.
So, we’ll talk the positives from the Saints win first. The Saints won a hard-fought battle with the Carolina Panthers Monday night, 12-9. It was another defensive victory for the Saints and it’s good to know we can win battles on defense. It’s an unusual turn to feel the Saints got into a defensive battle with Carolina and came out on top.
Positives: Wil Lutz continues to be money for the Saints. His 25th straight field goal tied a franchise record with Hall of Fame kicker Morten Andersen. Good company. It’s nice to feel when we are in a close game that we have a kicker who can make the difference.
More positives: with the win, the Saints magic number is one. One win Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers or one Rams loss clinches home field advantage throughout the playoffs. It’s good to make the playoffs, it’s great to host a playoff game. It’s glorious to know that whomever stands in your way to the big game has to come to your house to play.
And one more positive: this defense. Wow. Words fail. Yes, they are covering up some weakness on the backside of the defense with strong front play. But it’s working. And we’re getting takeaways. Recall it was those ball hungry Saints’ defenders that led us to the playoffs in 2009.
It’s possible that only the Bears are playing better overall defense than the Saints currently. The Saints D has not allowed more than 17 points in any of the last six games. Couple that with the 14 takeaways we’ve gotten (+8 in the turnover differential over that same stretch), and good things happen.