I have been going back and forth in my head with this, and I'm still not sure I have decided on an answer. Are the Saints the worst kind of bad football team or the best kind of bad football team? On one hand, they are a team that juuuuust good enough to continue giving their fans false hope. On the other hand, they are never truly out of it so football season, while unsuccessful, is almost always entertaining. I have no illusions of the New Orleans Saints - as currently constructed - being anything more than a middle of the road team that falls a game or two short of making the playoffs, but that brand of mediocrity provides just enough reason for optimism. It's that optimism that eventually leaves you sitting there, staring lifelessly at your television, wondering why the hell you made yourself vulnerable to such a fatally flawed product.
The Saints are the ultimate "well...maybe" team. They are a team that has the offensive firepower to win every game they play, but the defensive futility to get outscored by a CFL squad. So while I want to treat a victory over a divisional opponent as if it could fuel their race back to respectability, it's impossible to do so without acknowledging the harsh reality of what happened yesterday. The Saints played about as well on defense as you could possibly expect them to for the entire first half....and they still needed every single one of Drew Brees 465 yards to just barely get a home win over a previously 1-4 opponent.
I'm well aware that Saints are down to their backup plan's backup plan due to the injuries in their secondary, but this defense is so bad that it actually transcends logic. I watched that whole game yesterday, and even when it was tied 38-38 it still felt like the Saints were up 10. It's like I have gotten so used to watching other teams score that it doesn't really register when they do. I swear, if they didn't keep a running tally at the top of the screen I would have expected Drew Brees to start taking knees when he got the ball back with under 2 minutes left. Surely I am biased, but I don't think there is any doubt as to who the better team was yesterday and the Saints STILL needed a last second, 51 yard field goal from a rookie kicker to prove it. That's the mark of a bad football team, but it's also the mark of a team that has just enough talent to lure you and have you biting your nails for the vast majority of 3.5 hours on a weekly basis. I know just as well as everyone else that the Saints have no chance to win anything of significance this year. It would be so much better for my heart if they played like it, but - for the sake of my sanity - I would really appreciate if they would continue to be on the right side of the decision if it's going to come down to the final seconds.
We are literally ALL this SuperDome maintenance worker. Just blindly inviting inevitable disappointment, because the joy of victory is too euphoric not to...