Our lifeless Saints

Well, our prayers were answered. Atlanta lost to the Chiefs, and in heartbreaking fashion. Unfortunately, the Saints came up empty in what was likely their biggest game of the year.

The Saints are now 5-7. And boy, does it feel like we belong here.

Dec 4, 2016; New Orleans, LA, USA; Detroit Lions strong safety Tavon Wilson (32) intercepts a pass in front of New Orleans Saints wide receiver Willie Snead (83) during the second half of a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Lions defeated the Saints 28-13. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

I’ve preached about this team’s talent, potential, resilience, what have you, all year. I always thought they had a chance. Another 7-9 season always seemed, to me, unlikely.

Well, it looks like I may have been naive.

It’s not that the Saints lost to the Lions. The Lions are a good team who played very well today. It’s not about who. It’s about how.

The Saints had a whole week to prepare for this game knowing that their backs were against the wall. More than ever, they needed a win. They needed one against the Rams too, but that game was colored more by Gregg Williams than any playoff chase.

And what happened? The Saints came out lifeless.

Just a bad performance. All around. All phases of special teams, offense, and defense. The only thing the Saints did well was to keep the Lions out of the end-zone. I mean, not including Stephone Anthony’s absolute dud in coverage on Theo Riddick. And not including that backbreaker to Tate.

That’s an example of what’s wrong with this defense. It’s nothing abhorrent, B.W. Webb and Vonn Bell are both solid players who flash great talent in the secondary. And yet somehow, on the most crucial play of the game, they let Golden Tate find 10 yards of open space despite the double coverage.

The offense didn’t perform. That’s clear. But after a year of dominating teams week after week, it’s hard to really feel angry towards the unit. Yes, Brees had a bad game. And yes, Payton’s playcalling came up empty. Fleener can’t hold onto the ball, and Peat, for all his improvement, still whiffs on way too many blocks.

I don’t want to hear anyone complain about the influence of Brandin Cooks’ recent twitter escapades. That didn’t dictate how this offense operated. That has nothing to do with the dud performance.

Now, to be clear, it was the offense that lost us this game. They’re usually a dominant unit, and only put up 13 points. Against an team like the Lions, that’s not going to cut it.

But the thing that breaks my back are those 3rd and long situations. The Golden Tate touchdown. It just breaks my heart.

The Falcons lost today, which technically keeps this team in the playoff hunt. But I’m not going to keep kidding myself that they deserve to reach the postseason.

After a game like this, they don’t deserve anything.

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