Monday Morning Saints Wrap

As I sat in someone else’s living room watching the game on someone else’s TV, I felt like I was watching someone else’s team.

The Saints team that had lost its swagger in recent weeks looked to have regained it after taking a 17-3 halftime lead with relative ease. But after blowing a 17-point lead and losing 20-17 to rival Tampa Bay in overtime, it appears the once-mighty Saints are now a team in disarray and, as a friend told me, leaking oil worse than a 1974 Chevy Vega.

The early-season, opportunistic defense is nowhere to be found. Now Gregg Williams’ gang can’t stop the run, gives up too many big plays downfield and can’t get off the field on third down.

The high-powered offense, which has managed only 17 points in each of the last two losses, isn’t helping. Fumbles, failure to convert on third and fourth downs and missed opportunities inside the opponent’s 20-yard line all have contributed to the team’s recent woes.

I was at a post-Christmas party in Houma during the game yesterday and overheard several people say, “The Aints are back!” Some even altered their Saints gear. At this point, I don’t buy it. I said the Aints aren’t back until the team blows home field after getting off to a 13-0 start. If they have to go on the road and quickly get bounced from the playoffs, then massive disappointment will set in.

At this point, there is no disappointment. There can’t be. Our beloved Who Dats are 13-2 and still control their own destiny. They haven’t lost anything yet. There is still time to right the ship. There is still time to grab some momentum heading into the playoffs.

On Sunday in Charlotte we’ll find out what kind of team the Saints really are when they battle the suddenly formidable Carolina Panthers.

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