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Remind Me Not to Get Excited

Remind Me Not to Get Excited

As I sit down to write this, I’m only 15 minutes removed from Kai Forbath’s game-winning career long field goal as time expired.

That field goal was set up by…well let’s just look at the official play-by-play description

(0:20 – 4th) B.Wing punts 46 yards to NO 29, Center-Z.DeOssie. M.Murphy to NYG 47 for 24 yards (C.Dahl). FUMBLES (C.Dahl), recovered by NO-W.Snead at NYG 47. W.Snead to NYG 47 for no gain (B.Wing). PENALTY on NYG-B.Wing, Face Mask (15 Yards), 15 yards, enforced at NYG 47. The ball was fumbled FORWARD, and ruled down at the 47 yardline. The penalty for a face mask moved it to the 32.

So that…happened. Any one of those things not happening, likely results in the most devastatingly painful overtime loss in Payton era. But all those things did happen. The guy we drafted in the seventh round (all hail MARCUS MURPHY)  for the expressed purpose of returning punts and kicks – because Sean Payton finally realized that investing in a punt returner might be a good idea. Sorry, distracted. Anyway, the punt returner from Missouri did the thing that exciting punt returners do, HE RETURNED A PUNT 24 YARDS IN A CLUTCH SITUATION!

Oh and then he fumbled (forward, because that matters when there’s only 5 seconds left to play) and Willie Snead, victim of a nearly backbreaking punt earlier in the game recovers! And not only does he recover, he manages to convince the Giants punter Brad Wing to grab his facemask for no reason on the way down.

All that sets up a field goal kicker who’s been on the roster for all of 20 minutes, a kicker known for having no leg, for a career tying long of 50 yards. Sean Payton found a kicker to win a game at the last second, and for one glorious kick, that all worked.

And we won.

The Saints, after starting 0-3, are now 4-4. The Saints won (the Falcons lost) and I nearly died in the process.

The Saints have started 0-2 four times in the last 10 seasons (2007, 2012, 2014, 2015) and every time the team has crawled back to .500 between weeks 8-10, but they’ve never climbed back to a winning record. Not a single time.

As great as this win (and the last two) have been, they mean nothing without focus on the games ahead. Luckily, this is the Saints easiest schedule in a decade. Unluckily, it’s also probably the worst team.


Oh yeah, I’m 425 words into this post and haven’t mentioned that Drew Brees managed a quarterback rating of 140 even after an interception. For the record, that’s real hard to do.

Coming into the week, I think I count myself in the majority of Saints fans as being legitimately excited about the young defensive players that are threatening to make a name for themselves. Breax, Kikaha, Anthony, Richardson, Edabli. Turns out, they’re not quite there yet. It was nice not being 32nd in defensive DVOA for a week, anyway.

Certainly doesn’t help to try to stay afloat with a 39 pound weight tied around your neck, but Breaux had a pretty bad play against Odell Beckham Jr. so maybe we should stop crowning him as The Next Revis and just hope he can go out there and win some battles.

Meanwhile, the Saints offense looked as good as it’s been all year, scoring 52 points with guys that probably wouldn’t get snaps at wide receiver anywhere else in the league. As Saints playmakers continue to leave and fail to impress away from Drew Brees, one wonders what he and Sean Payton could have done with a truly transcendent receiver at any point over the last decade (Colston might have had games where he hit that level, and 2011 Jimmy qualifies, but that’s the end of the list).

Drew Brees has had to try harder to win than any of his elite quarterback counterparts over the era. Bradley wrote on this a while back and it’s hard not to walk away from today’s game with that same mindset. All Brees needed to do was score seven touchdowns and it still took this to win:

(0:20 – 4th) B.Wing punts 46 yards to NO 29, Center-Z.DeOssie. M.Murphy to NYG 47 for 24 yards (C.Dahl). FUMBLES (C.Dahl), recovered by NO-W.Snead at NYG 47. W.Snead to NYG 47 for no gain (B.Wing). PENALTY on NYG-B.Wing, Face Mask (15 Yards), 15 yards, enforced at NYG 47. The ball was fumbled FORWARD, and ruled down at the 47 yardline. The penalty for a face mask moved it to the 32.

It’s astounding, really, that we’re in year 10 of the Sean Payton/Drew Brees partnership and we’re faced with the defensive ineptitude that we saw today. Brandon Browner has been such a detriment to this team, that I have to remind myself that he’s the 12th highest paid Saint in 2015. His 3 year, $35,000,000 deal is as egregious as any Mickey Loomis has given out to date. If Swann hadn’t been taken out of the game under the concussion protocols for the second time in as many games, I’d argue that we should cut Browner. I’m not entirely sure if he’s fallen this far, or if Rob Ryan is misusing him, placing him in positions to lose.

But whatever the case, it’s clear that this relationship needs to end now.


Earlier this week, ESPN ran a “story” about trades they’d like to see before the trade deadline on November 3rd. In it, they believed that Drew Brees was worth a third round pick. They were wrong. If anything, some bored journalist probably sparked one of Brees’ best games as a Saint. Certainly his most voluminous.

Team records in completions (40), yards (511), touchdowns (7), and general grittiness (∞).

Today, I can’t stay too pessimistic too long. We won a game that we should have won, then almost choked it away, then won in a ludicrous fashion. If our goal was to embarrass Steve Spagnuolo, so that’s worth something, right?

Just remember, when this team is suddenly 7-4 going into the Carolina Panthers game on December 6th, try not to get too excited. A weak schedule gives this roster a chance, but it’s still the worst of the era.

Who am I kidding, I’m going to be ALL IN when we finish the season 10-6 and slip into the playoffs. Meanwhile, the Falcons lost today to the Buccaneers and all’s right with the world.Brees Victory

Author

Ryan Chauvin

A native of the Mississippi Gulf Coast, but with a surname that indicates his importance to the history of a tiny town in South Louisiana, Ryan Chauvin currently lives in Houston, TX, doing general (read: non-sports) internet things. Ryanwas on Jimmy(!)’s bandwagon before it was cool, and has never predicted that the Saints will lose a game.