The Saints play the Bears Monday night and I have no idea what will happen. No one does. We’ve all been consistently and pathetically wrong about this team since the opening kickoff. So today I’m not going to waste your time with empty words in an empty column about the drama of the past week. Forget Kenny Vaccaro and Joe Morgan.
Whatever is happening behind the scenes boils down to this — the offense and defense are playing inexplicably bad right now and have for most of the season. That much is clear. Let’s stop beating the drum of hope and holding on to preseason dreams that have turned into regular season nightmares. Spare yourself the time, trouble and effort and begin looking forward to a high draft choice in 2015 and a chance to get better next season. Maybe.
About Sean Payton’s record
With Sunday’s loss to the Panthers, the Saints wrapped up their fourth .500 or worse season since 2006. Sean Payton has been on the sidelines for three of them. Not bad considering where the Saints once lived in the NFL neighborhood. Still, a troubling trend. In nine seasons of the Payton-Brees era, four of them have been average to below average. There’s some greatness and a Super Bowl championship mixed in there, but mediocrity is slowly becoming the norm. The glory days were 2009-11 and Sean Payton has had trouble recapturing that magic.
2014: 5-8 (so far)
About the defense
I look forward to discussing this on our Saints on 6 pregame show Monday night. Maybe we were wrong to expect the defense to be good this year after it finished #4 in the NFL in 2013. Everyone expected a bad defense coming off the dreadful Steve Spagnuolo era. Maybe Rob Ryan and his troops got lucky. Maybe they overachieved. Maybe this is the reality. Maybe last season was smoke and mirrors.
About Monday night
I want to say the Saints will be humiliated on national television, having not recovered from getting blown out of the Superdome by the previously dysfunctional and inefficient Panthers. If I write that, the Saints will certainly win.
I also want to say the Saints will beat the Bears decisively, because they were so humiliated last week and it’s a prime time game and Drew Brees and blah, blah, blah. If I write that, the Saints will certainly lose.
So I don’t know what will happen and won’t pretend that I do.
Enjoy the game.