Ralph Malbrough / Contributing Writer
After watching a brutal LSU loss to Alabama and waking up Sunday to find out Sean Payton is a free agent when the season ends at least Monday night gave us something to smile about.
I'm still not convinced the Saints are any good but at this point so what? The Saints scored 28 points but it felt like they could have scored 40 if not for a couple of fumbles. As long as the offense is putting up points the games are fun to watch. I'm not so much worried about playoffs or Super Bowls. Just entertain me for three hours. You know what makes life more enjoyable? Low expectations.
The Saints even cranked up their running game with 140 yards on 25 carries. How good was the running game? Mark Ingram actually looked worthy of the 1st round pick New Orleans used to get him.
Let's not kid ourselves; The 2012 Saints are entirely dependent on Drew Brees to be brilliant. I've come to terms with that and the sooner you do the better you'll feel. If Brees doesn't play really well the Saints can't win and if he plays average like he did in Denver then the Saints get hammered.
The Saints I think actually showed against the Eagles the formula they'll need to use if they want to beat good teams; 25 runs and 27 passes. It's not complete equal balance of offense they need but the less time the defense is on the field the better.
We finally discovered something worse than the Saints defense and that is the Philadelphia offensive line. The Saints who haven't had a pass rush or done anything well in 2012 on defense had seven sacks against the Eagles Monday night.
The Saints defensive line looked like the 1985 Bears, Dome Patrol and Fearsome Foursome all rolled into one and treated Michael Vick like a rag doll. Of course they had to blitz like crazy and got gashed for 221 rushing yards in the process but beggars can't be choosers.
While the Saints gave up their usual 400 + yards of offense I'm tired of ripping the defense. They still are on schedule to be the worst defense in history but they did something well so congratulations. It's those low expectations again. See how liberating they can be?
So at the halfway point of 2012 where are the Saints? They are 3-5 and not really in playoff contention. Want a sunnier outlook? It's Falcon week and who better to ruin Atlanta's undefeated run than the Saints? I can't think of a better team to put a 1 in Atlanta's loss column.
Atlanta isn't going 16-0 and the Saints giving them a good beating would do two really great things.
First, every time Atlanta loses to the Saints, a Cajun Angel gets her wings. Second, I'll be honest and tell you beating Atlanta is the most important goal to me for the 2012 Saints. Is it shallow, small, and petty? Yes it is. The 2012 football season at this point is about small joys. To me Sunday is biggest game of the year.
Finally, get well soon Steve Gleason. Who Dat Nation is always with you. No white flags.
Ralph Malbrough is a Saints fan living in Houston. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, find him on facebook, follow him on twitter at http://twitter.com/#!/MilneMalbrough or download his podcast at Itunes.