Are the New Orleans Saints in Serious Trouble?
This wasn’t the start the New Orleans Saints were looking for in 2012. You can almost give them a mulligan for getting surprised by rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins in week one. It was at home and the defense gave up 40 points, but it was at least forgivable to an extent.
After all, after all that these Saints have gone through with Bounty Gate, the loss of head coach Sean Payton and even the player suspension fiasco, a slow start wouldn’t be all that shocking.
But 0-2, well, that’s arguably a different story. Especially when that second loss comes by the handles of division not-so-rival Carolina Panthers, a team the Saints regularly owns, and seriously owned in 2011.
Instead of taking care of business, the Saints fell apart at the seams on Sunday, and it was the Panthers’ lively offense rising from the smoke, leaving this flailing fish that would be the New Orleans Saints fighting for air outside of water.
But like it or not, Saints fans, this is where your team is. No amount of analysis or finger pointing can save you from what is already done. The Saints are in an 0-2 hole, and Sean Payton can’t save them. And even if you were pretty sure (and I’m not) that Joe Vitt could rescue a disaster, he won’t be around for another four games.
The blood is running, and the bandages are nowhere to be seen. Drew Brees, the guy everyone is looking to as the new leader of the team with Payton suspended for the season, hasn’t been quite shouldering the load through two weeks. Whether it’s incompletions or interceptions, he just isn’t getting it done to this point.
If there is a silver lining, it’s that the offense is at least putting up some points. It’s taking them all the way until the end of games, but through two weeks, they haven’t scored less than 27 points. And that’s with poor timing, drops, fumbles and interceptions.
Another glimmer of hope should come in week three, when the Saints are blessed with the Kansas City Chiefs at home. The Chiefs are arguably in an even worse way than the Saints are, and not even the biggest “Who Dat?” hater should pick against New Orleans next week.
That means the Saints should get to 1-2 and be back on a path that could save their season. Unfortunately, I do believe it’ll be one big tease, as their schedule tightens up from that point on.
After KC, New Orleans heads to Lambeau to face a more put together Packers team. After that they get a 2-0 Chargers team at home. The they have Tampa Bay, who looks tough but they can beat. And then it gets even uglier. In consecutive weeks, the Saints will have to wage ware with the Broncos (in Denver), and then the Eagles and Falcons at home. They finish the year with games against the 49ers, Falcons, Giants, Cowboys, and those pesky Panthers again.
If I had to guess, I’d say the Saints beat the Chiefs and lose to the Packers and Chargers. At that point they’d be 1-4. I think they’d group together enough to top the Buccaneers, but then fall to the Broncos, Eagles and Falcons. That’d make them 2-7. As talented as they are, they’re just not clicking with needed direction.
Clearly, this wasn’t the schedule or season that needed an 0-2 start. As if things didn’t look troubling enough, this Saints’ 2012 future is already looking extremely bleak, and we’re just talking about matchups on paper.
You know, those matchups on paper that should have had New Orleans starting the seaosn at 2-0?
It’s going to be a long road back to being the elite team Saints fans have grown accustomed to. The only good part is it should start on a high note against the Chiefs in week three.