First things first. Here's your depressing music to go over the game stats, courtesy of Mazzy Star.
Time of Possession: Saints - 32:48, Broncos - 27:12
Total Off. Yards: Saints - 502, Broncos - 369
Passing Yards: Saints - 414, Broncos - 264
Rushing Yards: Saints - 88, Broncos - 105
Turnovers: Saints - 1, Broncos - 2
Third Downs: Saints - 8 of 14, Broncos - 6 of 10
Penalties: Saints - 4-51 yards, Broncos - 3-20 yards
So, the Saints win time of possession, win the air game, total yardage game, and the turnover game, and still somehow lose.
Here's another stat to depress you Saints fans out there: after trailing 21-3, the Saints held the Broncos' prolific offense to just 13 points in the final 44:11 of the game, and managed to put up 29 points in that same span of time.
I don't think I have the proper words to describe what I'm feeling...because I don't exactly know what it is I'm feeling. I mean, I thought the Saints were going to lose the game anyway, so why do I feel this way? I guess because after feeling like we were going to be given a full autopsy on national television at 21-3, the Saints somehow found a way to come back and make things not only interesting, but to rally and redeem themselves in most respects.
Reggie made up for his fumble with 148 total yards and two touchdowns, Jeremy Shockey had his usual solid game, Lance Moore proved he's the anti-Michael Lewis (a special teamer who CAN catch a pass), and Robert Meachem continues to make Saints fans believe he won't be a total waste of time. I would mention Drew Brees' spectacular performance, but does it even need to be mentioned? He's the straw that stirs the drink. And yet, somehow, we lost the game.
Where do you put the blame? Payton's play calling? Gramatica? Pierre Thomas? The run defense? The pass defense? I mean, who's to blame?
Not sure who I blame. I just know that the Saints in one of the best games of the season thus far, second maybe to the Cowboys-Eagles game on MNF last week. What, you thought I'd say Broncos-Chargers? Sorry, but any game decided by poor officiating does NOT warrant my attention.
Here's hoping the Saints come out with authority on Sunday and plant J.T. O'Sullivan on his Irish ass in the first quarter and set the tempo for the rest of the 60 minutes. We can't just win 44 minutes of a game. We gotta win ALL 60 minutes.