There is one thing to be said for being a Saints fan (and only one): it makes you clairvoyant. Even if all you can predict is disaster.
Earlier in the day, of course, the Carolina Panthers blew a one-point lead to allow the Falcons to slip to 4-0. Ahead 28-27, with Atlanta pinned on their own 1, with no time-outs and less than a minute to go, the Panthers allowed Roddy White to get open deep, and Matt Ryan hit him for 60 yards. A few plays later, Atlanta kicked the winning field goal. And if you were a Saints fan, you knew it was going to happen.
Flash forward: with the Saints nursing a narrow 24-21 lead and the ball on the 4, Drew Brees threw incomplete twice to bring up fourth down. Earlier, the Saints had a first-and-goal on the 1, and couldn’t punch it in. Both times, they settled for field goals…and with the score 27-21, if you were a Saints fan, you knew what was going to happen.
That’s right: the Packers scored the go-ahead touchdown, to take a 28-27 lead late in the fourth. Could the Saints, with every advantage that Atlanta didn’t have earlier, duplicate that earlier feat and win on a late field goal?
Are you kidding?
It has been so long since we could say things like this. “Typical Saints.” In a strange way, if almost (but not quite) feels kinda good. Like you can count on things again. No longer do we have to suffer the agonies of hope: the Saints suck. One way or another, they will find a way to blow it.
Like…I know: a holding penalty on the winning field goal! That’ll do her. Oh wait…we get a do-over? That’s okay, Hartley will just hook it left. Done deal. Typical Saints.
Of course, it wouldn’t have mattered if we’d been able to protect the lead. But after a miraculous stop by the defense, the Saints went 3-and-out, punted short to the Packers, and that was all she wrote. The prophecy unspooled just as foreseen.
In fact, what killed the Saints this time was the same thing that killed them last year at Lambeau: we gave up touchdowns, and settled for field goals. In short yardage situations, we couldn’t move. Plus, that whole “defense is dogshit” thing.
I don’t know what else to say, guys. Except: Roger can sleep content: he’s well and truly wrecked the Saints’ season. But, along the way, he also wrecked any chance of enjoying NFL football. It’s been a long time since the last time I couldn’t give a rat’s ass what happened in the NFL. But hey: such is the circle of life.