In honor of Halloween weekend, the ghosts of Saints teams past apparently decided to make a special appearance at Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis. It was evil, demonic, and I for one needed to be held after witnessing 4 quarters of paranormal activity. It was a nightmare, on my street.
We Saints fans were having a good old time last week watching Drew Brees take a dump on the Colts’ defense. And while we knew lightning wouldn’t strike twice, who could have predicted that not only Brees, but the offensive line and the Saints’ defense would put on such an embarrassing, lackluster, pathetic display against a team like the Rams? It’s the kind of loss that leads you to question a few things like, where is the intensity? Where is the pride? Where is the heart?
What we witnessed in St. Louis on Sunday from the Saints was reminiscent of the Saints’ team from that awful era in our franchise’s history. It was painful. It was “don’t have no alibi” ugly! I get it that the Saints can’t put up 62 every week, but watching them put up a bagel for just about 3 quarters against one of the worst teams in the league is ridiculous. And we couldn’t stop Stephen Jackson for $hit although, given how we’ve let much more mediocre running backs run all over us all season long, that was to be expected. But you know what, I’m not going to put this loss on the defense. The offense deserves the bulk of the blame for playing an uninspired four quarters. Even when they had a chance to mount a comeback, they blew it in the fourth quarter with more lethargic play. Drew Brees looked totally shaken and off. The offensive line couldn’t block a karate chop from an armless man. The clock management in the fourth quarter was horrid. But even with all that, what depressed me most was that I didn’t see fire in any of their eyes down the stretch. They all seemed pretty ok with phoning it in. And THAT, Saints fans, is unacceptable.
I get that we won’t “win ‘em all.” Last year’s Super Bowl winner went in as a wild card. But what I need to see from this team week in and week out is a desire to win. I need to know that they’re giving everything. I need to know that they’re going to leave it all on the field.
Did you see Stephen Jackson yelling at his teammates when they started getting sloppy and it looked like they would give the game away? That’s what I want from the Saints’ leaders. I want them to get mad. I want them to inspire a higher level of performance from the players around them and accept nothing less. Why was I more hype watching this game from an airport bar than the players on the field? It makes no sense.
Obviously, I’m not going to push the panic button based on what I’m willing to chalk up as a fluke. Still, the Saints are too good to lie down and take it in a lube-less butt pounding like what we suffered through on Sunday afternoon. The Saints are the best team in the NFC South and one of the best teams in the league. Even if they don’t win every week, they’re too good to play to the level of their opponent.
Feel free to be pissed Saints fans, but then shake it off. Halloween will soon be over and give way to “All Saints Day.”. The ghosts will be gone and our team will be back.