Bradley Handwerger / WWLTV.com Sports Reporter
METAIRIE, La. The way Malcolm Jenkins sees things, the Saints have two directions they can go at this point.
In the tank or on a run.
And to do the latter and not the former, Jenkins, the Saints standout free safety, believes the team needs to take a hard look at its loss to St. Louis this past weekend.
'It's one of those deals that at this point in the season, the way our schedule is lined up, we either go two ways,' Jenkins said, acknowledging that the next weeks against divisional opponents still puts the proverbial ball in their court.
'With a loss like that, you can go in the tank and then you lose the next two games and that really sets you back. Or you can get over it and you really buckle down and man up and really save the season.'
Saving the season begins Sunday when the Saints (5-3, 1-1 NFC South) hosts Tampa Bay (4-3, 2-0) at noon in the Superdome.
It's a rematch of New Orleans' second loss of the season, when the Saints went to Florida and lost 26-20.
New Orleans turned the ball over four times, including three interceptions thrown by quarterback Drew Brees. His final one on fourth-and-two came in the end zone, ending any hopes for a Saints come-from-behind win.
'They executed very well,' Brees said. 'They did a great job of not allowing us to get anything going in the run game. They forced some turnovers, which ended up being a big factor in that game.'
The Saints bounced back from that game, however, demolishing Indianapolis by 55 points. Brees threw five touchdowns and only four incomplete passes.
Now the task is to bounce back again.
Jenkins knows the talent is in the locker room to do it.
'If you look at the roster from top to bottom, we do have talented guys,' he said. 'I don't think that has ever been a problem. It's just execution - how do we get those talented guys to play at the best of their ability all the time?'