Monday, December 24, 2007

The Saints get flagpoled

Ah...fuck. That's about all that can really be said about Sunday's game, right? I should have known that things were not going to go our way from the get go. The signs were all around me; I just chose to ignore them:

1. Walking into the Superdome, I bumped into co-workers. Nothing against my co-workers (in this particular case), they're very cool people. But going back at least four years, everytime I've bumped into people from work or school at a Saints game...the end result is not pleasant.

2. I saw this guy I used to go to grade school and high school with. Total asshole back then; likely still is. He didn't notice me, though, but I sure noticed his Skeletor face. This douchebag is about two or three inches taller than me, but probably weighs AT LEAST 10 or 15 pounds less. Conclusion: He's a fuckin' beanpole and I should whopped his skinny ass outside the Dome. But no, I'm not bitter about my childhood...I digress...

3. Our section's unofficial "mascot" (a.k.a. The Psycho Who Screams the Loudest) didn't arrive in his seat next to my compadres until about mid-way through the first quarter. It just doesn't feel the same when he's not there at kickoff, screaming so loud his face turns red and veins pop out of his neck and forehead.

And 4. The fact that the Saints can surrender a massive, would-be touchdown run, only to force a fumble...but blow the chance to fall on it and allow the Eagles to recover the fumble IN THE ENDZONE...That was the big sign that things were not going to end well. Saints Notes: Brees breaks Archie's record; injuries pile up


And here's Ralph's column about the loss, too...

Forecast: Saints consistently mediocre
By Ralph Malbrough

Say this for Sean Payton: Since the Saints 0-4 start he’s had his team playing consistently almost every week.

Drew Brees usually plays very well in spite of crucial drops by receivers, the defense doesn’t stop the pass or create decent pressure on the opposing quarterback and Payton makes a poor challenge of an officials call.

Lather, wash, rinse, and repeat.

Usually they’ve won but whenever they played a team with a decent quarterback they’ve lost (Marc Bulgar, Matt Schaub, and Donovan McNabb) Do you see the trend?

It’s been said many times, many ways…Merry…. wait I’m confused… I lost my train of thought or maybe I’ve run out of ways to describe the Saints shortcomings?

Yeah, that’s it.

The Saints probably weren’t winning yesterday with Mike McKenzie, Marcus Colston, and four quarters from Aaron Stecker but they definitely didn’t win without them.
The Saints defense couldn’t stop the Eagles on third down (8 of 13), or keep Donovan McNabb in the pocket.

They gave up five plays of 20 or more yards in the first half and if not for a McNabb fumble looked completely helpless.

It appears to be a lack of players more than a coaching issue and besides I’ve seen horrendous defensive coaching by the Saints. See Venturi, Rick. So I’m not prepared to throw Gary Gibbs under the bus.

On offense, Drew Brees was literally the last man standing. If I told you in August the Saints would need Brees to lead a second half comeback against Philadelphia to keep their playoffs alive without Deuce, Reggie Bush, Marcus Colston, and 1st Round pick Robert Meachem I suspect the reaction would have been, “Playoffs? Are you kidding?”

Again ‘Doctor Drop’ Devery Henderson did what he did most consistently this year and David Patten even followed suit by dropping a huge 4th quarter throw.

The Saints lead the league in drops and even though he had a very good year Patten has had more than his share.

The Saints lost any chance they had when Aaron Stecker was stopped on fourth down from the Eagles two yard line.

Payton’s call was the right one because field goals weren’t winning yesterday and even though the play call was a bit puzzling from the usually hyper-aggressive Payton the bottom line is the Saints needed to get in the end zone. They didn’t. Game over, playoffs chances stuffed as bad as Aaron Stecker.

So with one week to go in the Saints 2007 season we’ve clearly learned two things.

First, when coming off an appearance in the NFC Championship game don’t have an off-season so bad fans say things like, “They would have been better not doing anything.” Or “Who was their first round pick? Is he even on the team? Did they even draft players this year?”

And of course don’t start the season 0-4 and then give away wins like really nice Christmas gifts.

When the story of 2007 season is written it will say, “The Saints F- off-season and generous gift giving to Tampa and Carolina ruined a season filled with more promise than any other in Saints history.”

So join me in singing a refrain that is as familiar to Saints fans as any Christmas carol, "Just wait till next year."

Ralph Malbrough is a Saints fan living in Houston. He can be reached at

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