1WHAT WE LEARNED
That life — at least for one week — doesn’t end when Drew Brees isn’t on the field. You could make the argument that this is the best the offense has looked all season, and you wouldn’t be wrong. No doubt Brees would have likely executed well under similar conditions against the same opponent, but it’s hard to argue that he would have been more efficient than McCown. Coach Sean Payton came up with a smart game plan that allowed McCown to get in a rhythm with short passes, and the offense moved the ball well. He played well enough to win. The defense didn’t match his effort.
The other teams in the division are trending now. Atlanta is 3-0. Carolina is 3-0. The Saints have the equation wrong. This could be a long season. No one can argue that this team is in good shape. If the Saints had stolen a win against Tampa Bay or Carolina, they would have a chance to get to .500 against a banged up Dallas team next week at home. There’s a possibility this season is already too far gone. It’s hard to envision a scenario where this team gets back on track and contends for a playoff spot. The lights go out with a loss next week. Things are almost there now.
This isn’t last season. That team was more talented but was too flawed behind the scenes to ever turn things around. The people on this team are adamant this squad isn’t experiencing those same issues. They say this team has character and the players like one another. All the bad elements are supposedly gone. Crazy things happen in sports all the time. There’s a sliver of hope things can turn around. This team also has a ton of talent on the shelf due to injury, and they’re all close to coming back. It’s not time to snuff out all hope. That time is near, though.