Forecast: Hard to believe the Saints have lost these 2 games

NEW ORLEANS -- 2016 New Orleans Saints football after 2 weeks is nothing but unexpected misery and sadness. The Saints went to New York, held the Giants without an offensive touchdown, and still lost.

I searched my Saints records and couldn't find that happening ever under Sean Payton. The Saints managed to be the first team to have a quarterback throw for 400 yards, 4 touchdowns, no interceptions, and lose last week. This week they don't allow Eli Manning to find the end zone and still couldn't win.

Sunday's loss sure felt like one of those games 10-6 teams win and point to as momentum builders, while 6-10 teams lament what could have been.

Did I mention the Saints held the Giants to 16 points after losing PJ Williams to a concussion early in the game? The Saints played the rest of the day with guys at cornerback 90 percent of Saints fans couldn't pick out of a lineup if their life depended on it and nearly carried an anemic offense to victory.

Being a cornerback for the Saints in 2016 is more dangerous than hanging out on some godforsaken island with Bear Grylss.

The Saints are 0-2 and yet are 2 remarkable catches by opponents from having that record reversed. I hate 2016 football so much right now. What have we done to deserve so much agony be heaped upon us? Having to watch Steve Spagnuolo out-coach Sean Payton was like pouring a gallon of Tabasco into an open wound. The Saints were 3 of 13 on third downs and only ran the ball 13 times in a game where the teams were never separated by more than 7 points. That was baffling to say the least, and by baffling, I mean I may have thrown my Saints hat at the TV multiple times.

The Saints offense seemed out of sorts all day. They even mismanaged the clock right before the half, which the Saints hardly ever do under Sean Payton and Drew Brees.

Brees seemed off, even though the Giants weren't putting a great deal of pressure on him. It speaks to how high a standard we hold Brees to when 29-44 with 1 TD and no interceptions is considered a below average game, but Brees missed some critical throws, including a late one to Brandon Coleman, where an accurate toss means an open Coleman doesn't need to complete a circus grab.

I really hope Coby Fleener isn't the next answer to the annual question of, “What latest free agent acquisition did the Saints waste a ton of Tom Benson's money on and is another addition to the gigantic dead money bonfire?” Unlike C.J. Spiller, it looks as if the Saints do have an actual plan to get Fleener involved, so it's not time to panic...yet.

The bottom line on the Saints offense is when the Saints defense holds a team under 20 and the Saints still lose, the loss is on the offense, period.

The Saints defensive effort, considering they played almost the entire game with undrafted free agents at corner, was truly remarkable; They had 2 sacks and created 3 turnovers. I& #39;m guessing the Saints will be hard pressed to play as good a game on defense again in 2016.

Dennis Allen has figured out how to unleash Kenny Vaccaro. He had 9 tackles, forced a fumble, and played with an energy that clearly inspired a depleted unit. The Saints even had a decent pass rush. 

Whenever you read “Saints had a decent/good pass rush” it means Cam Jordan had a great game. Jordan had 1 sack, 8 tackles, and was beating double teams all day.

If PJ Williams is out for a while, the defense won't be able to repeat today's performance. No team can withstand losing it's top 5 corners, especially the Saints. The good news is the Saints held the Giants to 64 yards rushing on 32 carries, and are 1 horrible 70 yard run by the Raiders from having 2 very solid weeks against the run. If teams can't jam the ball down the Saints gullet on the ground, like they have the past 2 years, the defense at least has a fighting chance. There is hope. A tiny candle staying alight in the wind and rain, but it's there if you look hard enough.

So where do the Saints go from here? Home to face Atlanta on a Monday night, in a game they have to win, or we face the same exact story we have seen the last 2 years; Saints start out horrible, have tofight their way back to .500, only to collapse after Thanksgiving. We are into year 3 of the Saints being almost, kind of, maybe, possibly, but never really seriously a contender to do anything meaningful in 2016. 4 little points from 2-0, yet miles from relevant.

Ralph Malbrough is a Saints fan living in Houston. Email him at ralphmalbrough@hotmail.com, find him on
Facebook, or follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SaintsForecast or download his podcast at Itunes

 

(© 2016 WWL)


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