At least NOLA.com’s Larry Holder is honest. He is spot on when he tells fans of the beloved New Orleans Saints the team’s real problem it is facing with five games remaining on the NFL schedule.
The team really isn’t all that good.
The Saints won seven games last season and missed out on the playoffs. This season, seven wins might be a bit generous and Sean Payton and his troops will have a real struggle making that win total a goal for the remainder of the schedule.
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“The New Orleans Saints' body of work through 11 games this season adds up to this: This team stinks, and there's no way out in 2015,” he explained.
The Saints failed to score a touchdown against Houston, which is hard to believe, and is the prevailing message of this team’s inept offense and struggling defense – one of the worst of all time in the NFL.
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Even with Drew Brees behind center, this offense cannot move the ball and put points on the scoreboard.
The defense, which figured it might get a shot in the arm when Rob Ryan was fired earlier in November, might look worse at times without him on the sideline.
And if anyone thought Ryan falling on the sword and taking one for the team would help even the keel of this franchise should think again.
I tend to agree with Holder – this team cannot find its way out of a wet paper bag.
Honesty sometimes hurts. That might be the Gulf of Mexico the team feels at its feet, but in reality, it is quicksand, and the grip is unrelenting.
With losses to Tennessee, Washington and Houston, Holder said it's the first time the Saints have lost consecutive games by 14 points or more since the first three games of 2007.
They're 4-7 and sit 14th in the 16-team NFC conference.
I think fans would agree if the trio was Denver, Arizona and Seattle, the losses might be a bit easier to swallow, but you don’t get bonus points for being a bottom feeder in the NFL - or any sympathy from fans who had hoped after starting 1-4 this season, then climbing to 4-4 the light bulb might have finally turned on.
It flickered a bit and might have turned off for good on Sunday. Carolina is the beast team in the league. Tampa Bay is playing better football despite losing yesterday and Atlanta, if it finds its way out of the doldrums, is still a playoff-contending team.
There will be no post season celebrations this season in the Big Easy.
Heck, the team might get excited about winning two of their final five games. Six wins, 13 in the last two seasons – that’s not Saints football.
Leave that to another franchise where six wins would be cause for a ticker tape parade. In the meantime, there is an APB out for New Orleans’ offense, an hourglass with a lot less sand on Payton’s desk and a fan base that wants things to be like it has been in playoff and Super Bowl contending years.
Are the Saints really this bad? It looks that way and whether it gets better depends more on what happens after the season, not what happens during the season.
It’s time wake up and take in what Holder said. I’m just echoing his sentiments – but he beat me to the punch. I am a fan, but the Saints really aren’t that good.