As usual, the first week of December football brings a cold dose of reality to fledgling teams. There’s only so much time left to climb up the standings for a playoff berth. It’s pretty clear this year that the NFC is far weaker than the AFC, and as a result, hope persists a lot longer for some bad teams, all the way into the warm glow of the holiday season. Dallas gave New Orleans a knockout punch in week thirteen, that was the coal in their stockings, and the cherry on the despair sundae the meandering New Orleans Saints have been slowly eating all year long.
I am sorry for your loss New Orleans Saints, but your season is over!
While the rest of us are in 2021, the Saints are in living in 1 PDB (Post-Drew Brees). This year felt more depressing than Sean Payton’s BountyGate suspension year, and we didn’t even get any cool insane Mussolini-inspired Sean Payton banners, either. The Saints came in with a lofty-yet-delusional approach to replacing a Hall of Famer with Jameis Winston, Trevor Siemian, and Taysom Hill. Winston on the shelf, and Siemian struggling, the Saints turned to their QB/RB/TE/Punt Protector/Turnover Machine against the Cowboys in week thirteen. It became clear with this showing that it’s time for the Saints to pack it in.
As I embrace my old age, I like looking at the box score to see the story of the game. After all, the numbers don’t lie. This game could have gone either way. Both teams had seventeen first downs, and the Saints outgained Dallas in this one (Dallas – 337, New Orleans – 405), and they had nearly the same breakdown in passing and rushing plays. The difference? Turnovers. Taysom Hill threw four interceptions. Wow, you’re right Coach Payton, he is electric. Can we call him “the crash cart”?
Hill’s stat line will give any GM high blood pressure. 264 yards passing, 2 TD, and 4 INT. Let’s not forget he even rushed for 101 yards. It was a great game plan until he was sacked on a key play and gave up the ball three times in the fourth quarter. The only reason why the Saints lost by just 10 and weren’t embarrassed was that the Cowboys went from Mike McCarthy calling plays to Dan Quinn.
We witnessed the harshness of a rebuild Sunday. The Saints didn’t have their top three offensive players from the past five years, with Drew Brees, Michael Thomas, and Alvin Kamara spread to the four winds. The Saints were explosive for so long it’s frankly sad to see such a reverse in their offensive prowess… Deonte Harris pulled down a garbage-time 70-yard reception but other than that the Saints’ offense was one-dimensional. Related in the “Saints Can’t Have Anything Good” files, the NFL suspended Deonte Harris for three games thanks to an offseason DUI.
The Cowboys’ playcalling matched the Saints’ playcalling in blandness. Tony Pollard and Amari Cooper each had a big gain for Dallas on the night. Was the Saints defense up to the task or were the Cowboys just inept at running their scheme? The only interception given by Prescott was quickly negated by Taysom Hill on the next drive.
It’s always bittersweet to see a franchise quarterback retire. Drew Brees dragged the Saints to annual legitimacy. Now, they have to hit the reset button and try it again. The silver lining of all this is being in the NFC South which is arguably one of the weakest divisions in the NFL. Well, except for that one guy.
Nothing a good draft and another Hall of Fame QB retiring can’t fix.
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