Saints: Pulling positives from the negatives in Week 15

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Piling on the positives

Eli Apple
CHARLOTTE, NC – DECEMBER 17: Eli Apple #25 of the New Orleans Saints reacts to their 12-9 victory over the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium on December 17, 2018 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /

Hey, let’s pile on the positives! The Saints continue to find ways to win. This was a divisional game. Divisional games, particularly in the NFC South, are tremendously difficult due to the familiarity of teams with each other.

Playing a team twice a year makes it harder to come up with things they haven’t seen. And this Saints team had beaten the Panthers three consecutive times last season.

Any idea how difficult that is? Now try to add a fourth game to that. And it’s not as though the Panthers are the 2000’s Browns. This team made the playoffs last year, was 6-2 and right on our tail at the midway point of the season. This was a tough game to win, particularly in their place. We won ugly, but winning is the most important part of that.

Speaking of being on the road, that game was the last of a tough three game road stretch: at Dallas, at Tampa Bay and at Carolina. They came away 2-1. Ask ANY NFL team how they’d feel about a 2-1 record in a road stretch and I’m sure you’d find they’d be ecstatic with that.

Don’t be spoiled. This team IS still very good and that needs to be taken into account. You’re not going to hang 41 points on everyone like you averaged over a five game stretch this year (205 points from Week 8 to week 12, insane). Sometimes you have to win without all that offense.

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A kinda positive: while the Saints offense has turned anemic over the past three games, other contenders’ offenses suffered the same misfortune. The Rams have lost two in a row, scoring only two TDs in that stretch. The Bears played a good offensive game this week but didn’t play a terribly good game offensively in defeating the Rams. The Cowboys had been surging but were shut out by Indianapolis this week and just squeaking by the Eagles the previous week. So, while we’re struggling, we’re not alone. No one else is running away offensively.