Tough New Orleans Saints Loss: Observations from the cheap seats

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - JANUARY 05: Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints reacts after fumbling the ball during the fourth quarter against the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Wild Card Playoff game at Mercedes Benz Superdome on January 05, 2020 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - JANUARY 05: Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints reacts after fumbling the ball during the fourth quarter against the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Wild Card Playoff game at Mercedes Benz Superdome on January 05, 2020 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /

Missed opportunities killed the Saints

One last way to lose a game is missing field goals. Not going to blame all of this on Wil Lutz, but that miss at the end of the first half was huge.

Deonte Harris had a huge kickoff return after Minnesota scored a TD to go-ahead 13-10 with only 23 seconds left in the half. A big Brees to Thomas completion put us in field goal range with 5 seconds left in the half.

Lutz pushed his kick right. Tying the game there would have been a positive to take into halftime, but the miss was simply another sign it just wasn’t to be for the Black and Gold.

I know this has been a lot of negativity heaped on the Saints. It’s deserved. They may be a better football team, but they weren’t the better team Sunday.

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That’s why they became the first team in history to finish 13-3 and lose in the wild card round. That’s kind of an odd statement since only three teams have finished with that good a record and not gotten a first-round bye.

Another troubling fact, courtesy of Trey Wingo of ESPN in a tweet, he noted the Saints have won 37 games in the last three seasons.

Since the start of the 16-game season, only two other teams have won more games over a three-year span and not made the Super Bowl – the 1990-1992 San Francisco 49ers, and the 2003-2005 Indianapolis Colts.

Not a positive stat there.

It’s made worse when you really think about it.

Those Niners teams lost in 1990 and 1992 respectively to Bill Parcell’s Giants and Jimmy Johnson’s Cowboys – two great franchises of their time.

Those Colts teams were defeated twice in the playoffs by the Patriots and once by the eventual Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers who were also a great team.

The Saints have been eliminated by the Vikings twice and by the Super Bowl-losing Rams once; by Case Keenum, Jared Goff, and now Kirk Cousins.

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