Saturday, December 19, 2009

Week 15 Review: They Dat

I guess those crazy Cowboys fans got their money's worth on Saturday night.

Dallas fans had driven up prices on the secondary-ticket market months ago, well before the Saints had amassed an impressive winning streak. Five weeks ago, a ticket in the nosebleeds could be sold for $300.

The Saints had their first total reality check of the season in their own building, unable to play Houdini once again, even if the latest improbable comeback was marked by an opposing team missing an easy field goal.

Turnovers, an inability to run the ball and poor defense contributed to the first Black and Gold loss of the season. Oh did I mention that dropped end zone reception?

In all fairness, the Saints had a virtual monopoly on "breaks" this season. Just last week a wide-open Atlanta wide-out bumbled what would have been a touchdown reception that would have made a Saints come-back unlikely.

Rather than break the game down, I'll address the most wide-spread lunacy that has been circulated since the Saints faced the New England Patriots on Monday Night Football: a loss is not a good thing.

That the Saints' shot at perfection has been dashed has many Saints fans glum; my main concern is home-field in the playoffs when many of our key-players will have returned.

That's what matters now.

If the Saints beat Tampa at home and beat Carolina on the road they will have beaten the Minnesota Vikings out for the coveted post-season advantage. And looking at the Vikings' schedule (Carolina, Chicago and the G-men), the Saints will most likely have to win out.

There will be no rest for the weary.

The Saints' o-line has to do a better job holding back opponents; quarterback Drew Brees needs to protect the ball better; the Saints running backs need to be more productive so as to not put the fate of games squarely on Brees' shoulders.

Losing to Dallas is not the end of the world, though it is painful to drop a game to the worst winners in all of organized sports.

Thre good news is that the team will have an extra day to prepare for the Bucs and that the season finale in Charlotte will not be flexed into an evening game.

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