The more things change the more they stay the same. If we are being honest I have never truly understood what the fuck that means, and if we are being even more honest I still don't. However, it seems to apply here so I guess it must be true. Two games played. Two excruciating last second losses that seemed all too avoidable. Two polar opposite game scripts. Now, don't get me wrong, it's not surprise that the Saints offense managed to resemble some neutered version of itself when playing under natural light. Not the first time that Drew Brees and Co. treated the outdoors like like it was as foreign to them as it is to the gamer that hasn't had a concept of time since he first found marijuana. Sometimes they would even have you believe that the entirety of their pre-professional careers weren't spent running and catching on organically grown grass. Still, as much of a problem as the elements have been in the past, it's never been this bad. Was the weather just too mild? Was the possibility of precipitation - that never actually came - that nerve wracking? I don't know, but I do one of the Saints worst offensive performances in years just happened to coincide with what was likely the most gutsy, impressive defensive effort we will ever see from a unit that battled what appeared to be insurmountable odds all day.
The Saints defense gave up 9 points. NINE points. After the unfortunate injury to P.J. Williams their starting corners were an rookie undrafted free agent and a guy that was picked up off the street approximately 10 days ago. Yet somehow, against one of the most dangerous wide receivers corps in the league led by one of the unstoppable players in the universe, they managed to keep their opposition to single digits. A 4th down red zone stop? Three forced turnovers? A goal line stand on a series of downs that started on their one yard line? Forget yesterday, Dennis Allen should be free from the wrath of Sean Payton for the rest of the season after his defense - that had plenty of excuses to fall back on- repeatedly gift wrapped extra possessions to an offense that had not a single legitimate reason for it's ineptitude.
There's just no other way to put it, this one falls on the shoulders of the man that was just given a 5 year extension after two sub-.500 seasons. This one should have the man that just turned the offseason into one long negotiation period for a contract that guarantees him over $44 million over two years looking in the mirror. Considering that an 0-2 record basically amounts to a death sentence in the NFL, the two most important members of the Saints organization failed them with their season on the line. The offensive wizard and the first ballot Hall Of Fame quarterback put up 13 points when - for the first time in God knows how long - a paltry 17 would have outright won them the game. I know people will look at the blocked kick that was returned for a touchdown as the difference because technically it was, but I refuse to blame a loss on one special teams mishap when so much has been invested in an offense that was absent for a vast majority of the afternoon.
If I wanted to get into specifics I could talk about how the only thing more lifeless than Coby Fleener's on-field heart is the money invested in him. I could criticize whoever decided that Brandon Coleman - a guy who has the stature of an NFL caliber receiver and the hand-eye coordination of a drunk sorority girl - was the person to trust with securing the team's two most important throws. I could scold Ken Crawley for failing to knock down a ball that appeared to be throw directly to him and eventually ended the game. I could nitpick little instances that cost the Saints a game that was there for the taking, but doing so would let it's head coach and it's starting quarterback off the hook for an afternoon full of incompetence. The most ernest of "get well soon's" to P.J. Williams, the most genuine of hat tips to the defense, and the most disparaging of lifeless glares to the offense. They, and they alone, squandered the opportunity for this team to be destined for more than another 7-9 season long struggle.
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