The only thing I can really think of to say about yesterday's game against the Cardinals is that it was the perfect portrayal of the Saints season in the sense that it made absolutely no fucking sense whatsoever. A team that couldn't pass their way out of the paper bags their fans were about ready to pull down over their heads the last two weeks put up damn near 400 yards and 4 touchdowns through the air with ease. Brandin Cooks hasn't made a game breaking play since he begged for more opportunities to do so, and yesterday he turned in his own personal track meet at the expense of one of the league's best secondaries. The Drew Brees who looked like a long, disapponting season was weighing on him when he turned in a touchdown (sans XP) worth of turnovers against the Lions and Buccaneers was back to making the spectacular look ordinary, and the offense who previously looked stuck in mud was kicking it up in the face of a top ranked defense. Even their own defense - who had somewhat miraculously become the most consistent unit on a team riff with inconsistencies - decided to throw it back to the early part of the year when they were springing more black holes than Dennis Allen's head coaching resume. All in all, a 48-41 barnburner over the Arizona Cardinals wasn't what anyone expected which probably means it should have been exactly what we expected. More importantly, it put to rest this rumor that - like clockwork - came out prior to one of the final games during an underwhelming season in New Orleans...
Hey, I have to give Jason La Canfora credit here. If there was going to be a time to start the annual "OMFG Sean Payton is getting traded" gossip then it was following two consecutive weeks in which the Saints struggled offensively and mere hours before they faced Bruce Arians, Chandler Jones, and Patrick Peterson. Unfortunately, I have bad news for the Los Angeles Rams and any other shitty team that is dying to move assets in exchange for a head coach that is in the midst of his third straight losing season - Sean Payton isn't going anywhere.
I'm not entirely sure that's good or bad news for the Saints, but the coach that has an undeniable rapport with their future 'Hall Of Fame' quarterback - who is in the twilight of his career and was just recently signed an extension - isn't in danger of being moved for a 1st round pick, a 4th round pick, or a lifetime supply of peanuts. I don't know if keeping him is what's best for the franchise, but it is what they committed to when they gave him a 5 year contract under the assumption that he was the man to fix what became broken on his watch. Another losing season wasn't what anyone had hoped for when he signed on the dotted line, but the Saints were never supposed to contend for a championship this year. Everyone knew that digging themselves out from the mountain of dead money they had buried themselves under was going to take two years so why would they call it quits after one? The offense is clearly still as potent as ever and the defense has grown in leaps and bounds since Week 1. Hell, if the special teams weren't so damn "special" this team is probably still battling for a playoff spot. That's obviously a pretty big "if", but it's a problem that's far easier to patch than an unnecessary vacancy at head coach in today's NFL. By all forms of reasoning, trading Sean Payton would mean moving on from Drew Brees and since he has shown he's still very much a top quarterback in a league full of crappy ones - why on earth would the Saints even consider that? I know that NFL "insiders" have to meet a certain quota of baseless rumors per season, but - after yesterday's performance - I think the person behind this one might want to run away from it faster than Brandin Cooks on a crossing route.