The New Orleans Saints set out at the beginning of this season with high standards and high hopes.
No team in the NFL has won more games since 2017 than your Black and Gold. We were graced with another high double-digit winning season in this COVID-ravaged 2020 season. The Saints have proven to be the regular season gold standard of the NFL.
Unfortunately, that hasn’t equaled postseason glory for the WhoDat Nation. Let’s hope this season is the exception. It would be a travesty for these four seasons to have gone by without a Super Bowl berth.
Here, we’ll take a look back at the last quarter of the season and the overall season numbers as well as jump into the playoffs. Maybe I should set my predictions a little higher because if I’m not mistaken, my predictions for each of the last three seasons have been off by one extra loss.
The NFC East has been miserable this season.
The division winner got in with seven wins and there was a strong possibility that a 6-10 team could win the division late into the evening of the last day of the season. The Eagles were part of that misery, ending their campaign with a 4-11-1 record.
As they faced the Saints, they came into the game 3-8-1 with little chance of making the playoffs. Carson Wentz had played very poorly and the team had decided to go with rookie Jalen Hurts against the Saints.
Their offensive line was poor, their defensive backfield was poor. It seemed to be a game for the taking, even as with Drew Brees still injured.
Every season the Saints lay a HUGE egg, have one clunker game where nothing goes right and they lose to a team they have no business losing to. This was that game.
Jalen Hurts had a solid game, but not prolific in his first NFL start. We have often given ground to starting rookie QB’s – RGIII comes immediately to mind. But the Saints’ defense decided to choose this game to have their worst performance since the Raiders game.
And it happened in an unlikely place – run defense. The Saints’ defense had not given up a 100-yard rusher in several years. In this game, they allowed two guys to reach the century mark.
The Saints were down 17-0 at halftime, so it was going to be a long road back. They managed to score two touchdowns in their first two possessions of the second half, but a Taysom Hill sack/fumble resulted in the short field TD that gave Philly the game.
Offensively the Saints did little as well, giving up 5 sacks, not taking advantage of one of the lesser run defenses in the league, and not dominating the line of scrimmage.
The numbers bear out the misery – the Saints gave up 246 rushing yards and two rushing TD’s while gaining less than 100 rushing. Two Saints turnovers turned directly into 10 points for the Eagles. A missed FG also turned a shorter than usual field into a Philadelphia TD.
And Wil Lutz’s two missed field goals ended up being important in the 24-21 loss to the Eagles.