NEW ORLEANS — Of all the insane ridiculousness from the New Orleans Saints 30-28 win over the Houston Texans, the best part was the Saints defensive incompetence at the end was so complete it actually allowed the Saints to win because they let the Texans score in just 13 seconds allowing Drew Brees JUST enough time to do ‘Drew Brees Activities’. It also caused 70,000 people in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome to almost drop dead from a heart attack.
“The only upside is that we let ‘em score quick enough to where we had time to come back and kick a field goal," said head coach Sean Payton. "That’s trying to look at the bright side of things.”
The Saints victory was like riding in a cab with no taillights and our driver didn’t seem to understand traffic laws, speed limits, or even quite where he was going. We arrived at the desired destination but had our lives flash before our eyes multiple times. The end brought euphoria, relief, but mostly had us asking “What in the hell just happened?”
After a Sunday filled with boring blowouts and hardly any interesting games, the Saints delivered America the kind of football we wait 8 months to inject straight into our veins.
It didn’t start out that way for the Saints. The first half ending on the referees not knowing football rules and butchering the clock like 5 dollar stew meat was an appropriate way to close the first 30 minutes. Will the Saints ever play a game where the officials aren’t apologizing to them after it’s over? We can only dream.
Drew Brees went from a guy in the first half having all the time in the world with no one open to a second half with all the time in the world and EVERYONE open.
Remember how we asked all preseason “Who will be a decent wide receiver behind Michael Thomas?”
Old man Ted Ginn Jr suddenly looked like 2017 Ted Ginn Jr. with 7 catches and 101 yards.
The answer to who will Drew Brees throw the ball to in year 14 in New Orleans continues to be “Whoever I want to.” Brees can make any person with 2 hands a solid NFL receiver, and proved it again by having Tre’Quann Smith and Taysom Hill both catch touchdowns.
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Add Ramczyk to list of guys the Saints will have to back up the money truck for. How is Mickey Loomis going to pay Kamara, Ramczyk Marshon Lattimore and possibly Sheldon Rankins? Math isn’t my thing. I’m just telling you he better do it. Just bend, squeeze and contort the salary cap until it submits to your powers Mickey.
The Saints defense until the debacle at the end—considering they were missing 3 of their 4 defensive tackles— had been good enough, and around these parts we mostly grade on a curve for the defense anyway.
The Texans ran for 180 yards but most NFL teams will do that when a defense is missing Sheldon Rankins, David Onyemata, and Mario Edwards. The Saints had 2 undrafted free agents getting important snaps ( Shy Tuttle and Mitchell Loewen).
There were only 2 possibilities when missing that many guys at defensive tackle; disaster or not a disaster. Success was never really possible, unfortunately the Saints got disaster.
The Texans stars Deshaun Watson and DeAndre Hopkins looked like elite players but they do that every week so I will refuse to panic about the defense just yet. Besides when the Saints played the Cleveland Browns in Week 2 last year the game ended almost the exact same way; Saints grab late lead, defense completely collapses in horrifyingly comic fashion and Drew Brees and Wil Lutz have to save the day.
The only difference was the Texans made their extra point after getting a second crack at it, and Wil Lutz’s game winner was incredibly more difficult.
The Saints never can ease us gently into the regular season. They seem to love to begin each year with fireworks, thrills, and then stare catastrophe right in the face.
Ralph Malbrough is a contributing writer and Saints fan living in Houston. Email him at email@example.com, find him on Facebook, or follow him on Twitter at @SaintsForecast or download the NSFW Saints Happy Hour Podcast.
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