Charles Dickens arrived on the scene too early to work as a football analyst, but his best of times, worst of times observation aptly describes last weekend's football experience for many Louisianans. LSU's underdog victory against archrival Alabama was sheer joy, but the Saints' stunning loss against its iconic opponent, the Atlanta Falcons, was an ordeal of truly Dickensian grimness.
There were lots of reasons for the Saints' loss, which boiled down to lots of mistakes. But we do have a good NFL team. We’re leading the NFC South division. We’ve got one of the best teams in the entire league. Our quarterbacks are an amazing one-two combination. Our offensive line is one of the best in the NFL.
Defense might win championships, and games. But scoring is a must. Certainly we can’t count on winning games without touchdowns.
Yes, our Saints self-imploded, losing 26-9 to a 1-7 team. Yes, we dropped our seeding for postseason play. Yes, we committed 12 too many penalties and we didn’t convert enough third-down plays.
Drew Brees summarized it well: “Better execution, all the way around, would’ve resulted in a better result.”
But the Saints are still a winning team with a winning record and a good chance for a great season.
We’re not losing confidence or faith. We’re cheering for better execution, better results and a championship run.
Now, onto Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Carolina Panthers, and then we have another shot at the Atlanta Falcons. Here's hoping the sequel proves better.