There is a very disturbing trend happening in the big easy. And its a pill that ain’t so easy to swallow.
The New Orleans Saints are a regular season team, and that statement has been true since Super Bowl 44.
But they have Drew Brees…Sean Payton, Michael Thomas, and an incredible offense.
All of that is true. Which makes them regular season box office. And regular season box office only.
Have you noticed the trend? Since their Super Bowl win over the Indianapolis Colts, they have gotten TO the NFC Championship game, but not THROUGH the NFC Title game. That occurred last season against the Los Angeles Rams. They’ve won division titles, many of them. But that’s as far as they have gone.
And people may not agree with me, but the problem is with Sean Payton not being aggressive when he needs to be.
Allow me to explain. Last year against the Rams, they led 20-7 early, had the ball, and a chance to put the Rams away and regulate them to also-Rams once and for all. But they did not. Within that 20-7 lead, there were four trips to the red zone, but only two ended up in touchdowns.
The Rams defense held the high-scoring Saints to only three points in the second half and overtime. THREE.
A field goal. And that was on the heels of a non-PI call that Saints fan reason as to why they lost the NFC Championship Game last season.
No. The fact that they left points on the field and didn’t capitalize on opportunities is why.
Look at this past Sunday’s Wild-Card game in Wild New Orleans. The Minnesota Vikings kept the Saints offense in check. Holding them to only TEN points until midway through the final stanza of regulation. It took a quick TD drive and late field goal to get the Saints to Overtime. But then Kirk Cousins hit Kyle Rudolph for the game winner in overtime.
Vikings win 26-20. Another Saints disappointment.
Oh there have been others. Beastquake in 2010. Colston’s forward pass in Philly a few years later. Mentioned last year in the Superdome. This year in the Superdome.
Never mind that they have ruled the NFC South since they moved to that division in 2002. They won their first NFC South in 2006, the year after Hurricane Katrina.
How did that season end? Yeah, lost in the NFC Championship to ‘Da Bears.
Won the South in 2011. How did that end? You guessed it – Divisional round loss to the 49ers – a game in which they led twice in the 4th quarter by the way.
Three straight division titles from 2017-19. And though they didn’t touch the division from 2012 to 2017, they have been playoff contenders each year.
In each of the games I have listed save Super Bowl XLIV, there have been occasions where the offensive guru named Sean Payton did not fully turn his offense loose and let Brees call his own plays. His offense did NOT make plays for him. The defense had chance after chance to stop their opponent and 80 percent of the time, they failed.
Even this year, in the regular season, in one of the few times they did NOT stop their opponent in the 4th quarter, they allowed a 4th-and-2 to be completed for a first down and then coupled it with a defensive penalty. The result, a game winning FG at the gun.
Hello George Kittle.
So the question now begs to be asked. What more can New Orleans do to get Brees that final ring before he retires?
Only the Saints know the answer to that. Or do they?
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That’s Snowman’s Take. What’s yours?