Groundhog’s Day: The Saints keep reliving the nightmare
It seems to be the same movie that has been playing in the Saints’ head for weeks now. Especially, now for the second week in a row. Not only do the Saints lose a close one, but it’s the way they lost that has Saints’ fans scratching their heads. Not again…
The loss last week seemed to be unfathomable. Matter of fact, that defeat was the first time a team has dropped a game by a blocked field goal return for two points. So that was last week. The team did their duty of talking to media and was ready to move forward. Surely, there was simply no chance of anything even closely resembling last week right? Think again.
The Saints were down 13-6 as Wil Lutz lined up for a 38-yard field goal. The impossible happened again. Defensive tackle Vernon Butler blocked the kick, and Luke Kuechly ran all the way back for a touchdown. The score was called back because of a penalty but still. The idea of having another Groundhog’s Day moment was simply devastating.
The only thing that would compare is waking up everyday to a root canal. This repeat play was so implausible that I’m wondering if I’m dreaming right now. The Panthers would go ahead and take advantage of the block, even know the penalty brought the ball back quite a ways. The ball went all the way back to the 40-yard line, and a touchdown pass was thrown by Newton the very next play.
The Panthers would eventually go up 23-3 and hold on to a 23-20 victory. There were other blunders like Marcus Murphy fumbling a kickoff out of bounds at the one yard line. Furthermore, the offense sputtered through three quarters of play until they finally woke up, but then it was too late.
The unpleasant irony of this game is that the defense maybe played the best game of the season. They held Carolina to only 223 total yards all game.
The Saints are now 4-6 and are on life support as far as making the playoffs. This team has no doubt put Saints’ fans through more last minute suffering in a very long time. Of course, there have been worse teams than this one, but this season seems to be stringing everyone’s hopes till the very last play every single game.
Your guess is as good as mine. The answers seem like a puzzle without the right pieces. This is yet another letdown for a team who was starting to come together. Now, somehow they have to try and win a game 10 days from now.