Oh, when the stars align. Actually, scratch that. I'm not an astronomy major, but I feel like that happens far too often to be an accurate analogy. What's the time intervals between the planets aligning? 100 years? 200 years? I'd say somewhere in the middle is about a reasonable expectation for when Saints will finally manage to turn in a respectable performance in all three phases of the game on the very same night. This team simply plays the exact opposite of complementary football. I want to say that means they play supplementary football, but since their problems aren't rooted in geometry I'm going to have to assume that there are no words that truly explain just how out of sync the offense, defense, and special teams are during at any given moment. Honestly, expecting both sides of the ball to work in conjunction with the kicking game is like expecting three single girls to go out for ladies night and for none of them to end the night crying in the back of an Uber while trying to put her broken high heel back together. It's like putting three people from three separate generations at a Thanksgiving table, saying "so, politics?", and hoping that it ends in a productive, mutual beneficial discussion. A game in which all facets are all working together at even a mediocre level is the Saints' white whale, and their ever-so-slight playoff hopes have drowned trying to find it.
One important question was answered last night. We now know just how "special" a special teams unit can be. Fielding a kickoff that was blatantly going out of bounds for the second time in two weeks? Not only having a chip shot blocked, but having it immediately (or almost immediately) turned into points that ultimately cost them the game? The Saints special teams are only special in the sense that they might medal in the 'Punt, Pass, and Kick' competition if one were to be held during 'The Special Olympics'. I know bounties are a sore subject, but are they as frowned upon if they are only placed on someone in your own locker room? I'm not saying that I hope something bad happens to Greg McMahon, but I am saying there would a little something in it for someone if an "accident" were to take place. Clearly that's the only way Sean Payton is going to replace a Special Teams Coordinator who I would imagine has CTE from all the times he's smashed his head against the same brick wall.
Sometimes I just wish this team would suck. As an optimistic fan, 4-4 while riding a hot streak will always seem promising. It will always get me to lean in over the flame. It will always end in me inevitably getting burnt. The Saints somehow make 4-4 seem like 6-2 when in reality it might as well be 2-6. There is no reason, other than the cruelest of fate, that this team hasn't won the last two games. They've made more mind numbing mistakes than any stoner in any over-exaggerated anti-marijuana ad and they have still been mere plays away from victory. The good news is that this team will never cease to be entertaining. The bad news is that more often than not they'll be heartbreaking as well.
Props to the defense because people will see that an incredibly average Carolina team had 20 points at halftime and blame them, but the fact of the matter is that they've CARRIED this team the last two weeks. Larry has finally got going, but Curly and Moe are tripping him up. Maybe one day, in the distant future, this team won't have to give a weekly award for 'Stooge Unit Of The Game'.