Who Dat the Saints say they gonna beat? Hardly anybody this season. It’s safe to say that operation Dennis Allen has not gone to plan. But here they are somehow still in it. Win tonight, and the Saints are a game back of the division lead. At 5-8, believe it or not. Thus is the state of the NFC South.
After last week’s shutout, this team needs a win bad. Who’s going to step up? Any of the captains? Kamara hasn’t gotten loose in a minute. When was the last time Cam Jordan had a sack? Or Demario Davis a big hit? Players need to step up, and fast.
Because if they lose, it gets tough. A loss would put them down 4 games with 4 to go (see the tiebreaker). Coming back from that would require an epic collapse on the Bucs’ part. Luckily, the Bucs aren’t playing that well either, especially Tom Brady.
Jerry Rice once said that the first thing to go is not speed, mental capacity, or agility, but hand to eye coordination. Watching Brady play this season, you’d think it was arm to eye coordination. He’s been throwing some terrible balls. That underthrown pass to Mike Evans in overtime against the Browns last week that ended their chances was pure 🤦🏿♂️🤦🏿♂️. He looked like a goat, not THE GOAT.
Put Up Or Shut Up Time For The Saints
Brady’s decline and recent head to heads should give the Saints hope they can pull this off. If they can somehow harness last year’s D, they just might walk out of Tampa with a win and new life on the season. And to be clear, it will be all on the D. Because there is no sign of any type of offensive explosion coming.
Since peaking against the Raiders, the offense has been terrible. They haven’t scored over 20 points in 3 of the past 4 games. The score line has been 13,10, 27, 0. Consider that 27 against the Rams a blip in an otherwise downward trend.
The good news though is that the D has been last season worthy of late. The end of the game stat lines don’t show it, especially against the run. But for the most part they’ve kept the score close enough for the offense to make a move. The problem is the offense just hasn’t taken advantage.
Their 3rd down conversion rate the past 4 games has been 4/11, 4/11, 3/12, 3/11. That’s way too many stalled drives. Excluding the aforementioned blip against the Rams, the Saints have also lost the time of possession by over 11 minutes in each of those games. That has left the D on the field too long. And they’ve worn down and piled up injuries as a result.
Believe it or not, the Saints actually beat the Bucs with this type of offensive performance. In a 9-0 victory last season, they went 3-16 on 3rd down. Given how they match up against the Bucs, there’s no reason they can’t go out and win another ugly game.
As former Saints receivers coach CJ Johnson said on WBOK’s The Sports Report, they just have to stay disciplined and not beat themselves (wait, have you been listening to The Sports Report? Reggie Flood’s booming baritone and coach Johnson’s inside analysis is a phenomenal addition to local sports coverage.)
It’s game time Monday night though. And again, this team needs a win bad. They lose, and in 5 weeks (bye included) the talk on local radio will be about what went wrong and what to do about it during the offseason. Specifically the future of Dennis Allen. This better be one of his better coaching efforts. So it really is put up Or shut up time for the Saints. Because Coach Allen’s job just might depend on it.