We are back! The 2021-22 NFL season is underway, with the ecstasy of victory and the agony of untimely interceptions. So, let’s take a look at what happened in the Saints’ game yesterday. But before that…
As always, for our novice or non-New Orleanians readers, welcome!
Let’s start with some definitions:
Beignets (English: /bɛnˈjeɪ/; French: [bɛɲɛ], ben-YAY literally bump) are distinctly New Orleans, a delicacy intimately connected to the city’s rich French heritage. Best enjoyed heavily powdered with sugar.
This is your “After-Saints-Game” brunch, where we talk about the state of the Black and Gold, we debate the goings-on with the team and talk about what’s next at this point of the season. So, sit back, take a bite and a sip while your brain slowly wakes up, and let’s catch up on some football.
What Just Happened?
The New Orleans Saints are not just in a free fall anymore, y’all. They are hitting the bottom of the barrel, like a fish waiting for target practice. The offense did not score a single point through three quarters against the Bills, and at this point, the Saints’ offense should be dubbed “The Garbage Time Unit.” New Orleans trailed Buffalo 24-0 before “Fourth Quarter Trevor” Siemian found tight end Nick Vannett for a touchdown to make the score 24-6 early in the fourth quarter of the game. The Saints, you guessed it, then missed the two-point conversion. But here is what really matters: for years the Saints wasted Drew Brees by having putrid defenses. This year, in a funny twist of fate, the Saints have a pretty good defense, that now is looking pretty bad because it is forced to spend so much time on the field playing with a “three-and-out” offense.
The Saints’ front office had one primary job while Drew Brees was still playing in NOLA: give him a better defense and help him win more than one Super Bowl, and it failed. Its new assignment? Find a quarterback that can match Sean Payton’s wit and play sheet, because it is not Trevor Siemian, it is not Taysom Hill (although he would be better than Siemian) and in my humble opinion, it is not the injured Jameis Winston, when he returns from his ACL tear. New Orleans has to put a full-court press to Russell Wilson this offseason, while thinking about drafting a high pick quarterback in 2023 (the 2022 college quarterback class is basically nondescript). That young quarterback should then be groomed to be the true heir to the excellence that Drew Brees brought to the quarterback position in NOLA. If that doesn’t happen, forget cap hell, the Saints will be in quarterback purgatory, and trust me, that is a much worse place to be.
Beignets and Café au Lait Awards
Stale Beignets and Cold Café au Lait: The Saints’ Offense.
My kitchen is piling up with beignets and café au lait that I am not giving away, since the Saints have been so putrid lately. During this painful four-game losing streak, the Saints have faced deficits of 24-6 to the Atlanta Falcons in the fourth quarter, 20-6 to the Titans in the third quarter, 33-7 to the Eagles and 31-6 to the Bills in the fourth quarter. No defense in the league would be able to stay motivated when its offense is as anemic as the Saints’ has been. That has shown lately, as Saints’ defenders have started playing like matadors late in games, when defeat is certain. The injuries have hurt, Alvin Kamara, Michael Thomas, Mark Ingram, Ryan Ramczyk etc. have all been huge losses, yet it is a sobering sight to see a Sean Payton’s team be literally unable to score. It is a dark time in Saints football, let’s just hope that Payton has ideas to turn this around for next season and the ones to come.
The Saints get another prime-time game next week, playing the Dallas Cowboys (7-4) on Thursday night at 6:20 CT in the Caesars Superdome. After what we saw yesterday from New Orleans, there is little hope that the Saints will be able to hang in this game. The Cowboys have lost three of four games after a 6-1 start, and will be steaming mad as they descend on the Superdome. The season is slowly slipping away from the Saints, and maybe they have another run in them. But at this point, it looks a lot more like New Orleans should put a lot of effort into figuring out how to make sure that this likely lost season does not turn into several losing ones.
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