Ralph Malbrough / Contributing Writer
It’s ok if you admit when Drew Brees threw an interception the Chargers returned for a touchdown you thought 2012 season reached a new low and you hated everything about football. I sure did. In that moment I thought, “My God the Saints might never win a game.” It was a mix of despair, agony no amount of alcohol or crying can cure. Then the referees called San Diego for a roughing the passer penalty and the Saints were given a sliver of light in the darkness.
They took advantage.
Lost in all the record breaking Drew Brees and Marques Colston were doing was the fact the Saints offense was dealing with crushing injuries at receiver and barely had a running game. Drew Brees coaxed 31 points out of the Saints with no Jimmy Graham, Lance Moore, and Colston on one foot.
What Colston has done the last two weeks suffering from plantar fasciitis is as gutsy a performance from a Saints player I think I’ve every seen. He has 18 catches for 284 yards and four touchdowns. He broke Joe Horn’s team record for touchdown catches and the Saints needed every one of them and he did it all practically limping back the huddle.
Drew Brees made quick work of for my money the hardest record in football to break, Johnny Unitas’ consecutive games with a touchdown, when he hit Devery Henderson on a 40 yard strike.
My friend over at the great blog moosedenied.com summed up perfectly my annoyance with the national media’s coverage of the record. He asked, “Why is football the only sport where the longer the record stands the less the media is impressed when someone breaks it?” I wish I knew.
Brees is the most prolific passing quarterback of this pass happy era. To anyone out there saying Johnny Unitas faced harder rules for quarterbacks and his streak is more impressive I want them to remember Unitas had a coach in Weeb Ewbank who was so far ahead of the NFL designing passing offense he was playing chess and the other teams were still learning checkers much less playing it. Unitas was great but don’t discount what Brees has done.
I’m not going to talk much about the defense because at this point the Saints defense is like a hopeless toddler. We just want them to stand in the corner quietly, not eat paste, and pray they do not burn the entire house down and they can barely do that.
On the upside Roman Harper had the first interception by a Saints safety since 2010 and if every team they play has their left tackle suffer an injury and doesn’t come out the game then the pass rush will be spectacular. The defense is still awful and if Jabari Greer is out for an extended period it’s going to be worse even though that possibility seems too horrible to think about.
So what’s left to look forward to in 2012?
Appreciating Drew Brees trying to make magic to lead his beat up offense and worthless defense to some happy Sundays. That Brees is a great quarterback who is barely six feet tall just proves height is really really important to being a great NFL signal caller. If we are all lucky to watch another 50 years of football I’m guessing we won’t see another Drew Brees. We’ll see another Brett Favre, Tom Brady, or Aaron Rogers. I can name a dozen tall, strong-armed, title-winning QBs. Quick name quarterbacks six feet or under who have won a Super Bowl? Drew Brees and Len Dawson. That’s the list.
So 1-4 is better than 0-5 and if we can let go of all the expectations and hopes we had in August and can learn to enjoy watching Drew Brees fighting an uphill battle ever week then 2012 might give us some good times.
Ralph Malbrough is a Saints fan living in Houston. Email him at email@example.com, find him on facebook, follow him on twitter at http://twitter.com/#!/MilneMalbrough or download his podcast at Itunes.