New Orleans lost at home to Kansas City after having a 24-6 lead in the second half. Like the Chiefs, the Panthers and the Redskins got their only victories on the young season against New Orleans. The Saints defense was atrocious the first two games, and the offense had key turnovers.
On Sunday, the defense was a little better (though arguably, that’s a product of playing Matt Cassel) but still got gashed by Jamaal Charles. The offense floundered with the lead. Zach Strief wanted all the blame at right tackle for getting destroyed. There were drops and imprecise plays all around.
So now, the Saints are staring down the barrel as one of only two teams to start 0-3 this year. Since 1990, only three teams (1992 Chargers, 1995 Lions, and 1998 Bills) started 0-3 and then still made the postseason, out of 113 teams.
Only four of those previous 113 teams had made the playoffs each of the previous three seasons, like the Saints. They were the 2011 Indianapolis Colts, 2005 Green Bay Packers, 2002 St. Louis Rams, and 1999 Denver Broncos. The Colts and Broncos were obviously dealing with the loss of a Hall of Fame quarterback. The Packers still had Favre, and Warner started the season in St. Louis and was replaced after an injury by Marc Bulger. The Saints’ big absence, though, is the coach. The defense has never been the strength, but now, nothing is going right.
I think New Orleans rebounds and wins some games, but I think that’s more like 7-6 over the rest of the year. Atlanta is out in front in the NFC South, and nine teams will be 2-1 in the NFC (after tonight’s Green Bay-Seattle winner). The magic number in the NFC is likely to be 10 wins, with an outside shot of winning a tiebreaker at 9-7. This team winning 10 of 13 seems like too small of a margin for error with a porous defense.
[photo via US Presswire]