So much for home field advantage.
Home Sweet Home? Not anymore.
Maybe you can’t go home again (and expect to win).
Pick a cliche - it probably sums up the Saints’ confusing 27-10 loss Sunday afternoon to Cincinnati.
Instead of recovering from last week’s loss to San Francisco, the Saints are now 4-6, with their playoff hopes further in jeopardy - even in a weak NFC South.
This occurred on a gameday the Saints expected to take advantage of Cincinnati’s performance one week earlier. But just like the 49ers recovered in time to beat the Saints, the Bengals (6-3-1) followed suit.
The Saints expected Mark Ingram to enjoy a smooth rushing effort against the Bengals, which entered Sunday as the NFL’s 31st-ranked rushing defense. Instead, Ingram finished with 23 carries for 67 yards.
Quarterback Drew Brees, too, hoped to craft another memorable performance at the Superdome. Instead, Brees watched the Saints offense stopped on fourth and goal at the 1 and muster its first touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Brees completed 33 of 41 passes for 255 yards and one score.
And on defense, the Saints defense wanted Andy Dalton to experience another awful outing, like he did one week earlier in a loss to Cleveland (86 passing yards, three interceptions). Instead, Dalton, with his quick release and speedy receivers, reverted back to his former passing potency, torching the secondary with three TD passes.
Dalton finished with 220 passing yards.
The Saints hoped to utilize three consecutive home games to build momentum for a late-season run. Instead, they head into a Nov. 24 matchup against the visiting Baltimore Ravens wondering if home sweet home is still home.
After the Saints took a 3-0 lead with Shayne Graham’s 31-yard field goal in the first quarter, Dalton connected with Jermaine Gresham for a 12-yard score and Mike Nugent added two field goals (22, 42) before halftime. Dalton then extended Cincinnati’s lead with a short pass to Gresham.
Brees’ 9-yard score to Kenny Stills trimmed the deficit to 20-10, but Dalton quickly capped a seven-play, 80-yard drive with a 24-yard TD to A.J. Green.