Abyssus abyssum invocat

15

 

 

So…do we have our answer? I suppose that depends on the question, since questions abound.

The Kromer era continues to look more like the Kramer era. Drew Brees continues to look like he’s about to get killed at any moment. The defense continues to look like dogshit. But hey, we only had two penalties all game! Who dat say dey gonna get penalized less!

I gotta be honest: I’m not up for this. For the second week in a row, a game that should have been far out of hand wound up close, due solely to the residual excellence of the Saints’ offense. But in the end, it was just out of reach…by eight points, if you consider that “just.”

This time, though, it shouldn’t have been that close. Brees should have thrown the ball away at the 9. Lance Moore should have caught a touchdown. Patrick Robinson should have had two interceptions. That’s a 28-point swing, maybe more. The Saints should have blown out the Panthers, and last year they would have.

This year? Meh. The offense is only going through the motions. And the defense is crapping the bed.

It’s almost like what musicologists term “call and response”: the offseason from Hell is requiring an answer from the season. And the season is responding.

I think it’s time to delve into history, specifically the 2007 New York Giants. Steve Spagnuolo’s first two games as defensive coordinator did not go well: the Giants gave up 80 points and lost twice. And this was a team that started Michael Strahan, Osi Umenyiora, and Mathias Kiwanuka, and incidentally included Justin Tuck on the roster. It took those guys a few weeks to settle in; but when they did, they were Strahan, Umenyiora, Kiwanuka, and Tuck. Does Spagnuolo really have comparable talent with the Saints?

Maybe. Will it do any good if Robinson and Corey White are constantly out of position? If our safeties cover like whitewash over grease? If the Saints continue their lock on the presidency of the International Brotherhood of No-Catching Motherfuckers?

Let’s delve into some different history, specifically the 2007 New Orleans Saints. In their first two games, the defense surrendered 72 points, and lost twice. But for the Saints, the bleeding didn’t stop there. It continued against Tennessee (31 more points), before tapering off somewhat in another loss against Carolina. In all, the Saints’ defense gave up nearly 30 points a game to open the season 0-4. That was, of course, the nightmare days of Jason David and Josh Bullocks, and we all know that can’t happen again. Right?

That wasn’t a rhetorical question. Right?

Anyway: which team does this year’s Saints squad most resemble? Themselves from 2007, or the Giants? Because those Giants turned things around and actually won the Super Bowl…with defense. The Saints turned things around and actually reached 4-4, before a 3-5 pratfall in the second half of the season. The good news is: Drew’s passer rating so far is a full 5 points higher than it was after two games in 2007. The bad news is, it’s only 71.4. That’s Rex Grossman territory. It’s lower than Tim Tebow’s rating last year. Of course, Tebow wasn’t running for his life (no, he was running for 660 yards).

Well, the other good news is that Drew is on track for another 5,000-yard season. Plus, he’s now had 45 games in a row with a touchdown pass, and may yet take the record away from Johnny U. Is that enough? Would you be satisfied with that?

Near the end of the game, as hope began to leak away like air through a broken airlock in some bad science fiction movie, my wife, the lovely Acadie, remembered the days when all Saints fans had to cheer were isolated moments of glory. Great plays in lost causes. Dominating wins in the middle of 3-13 seasons. Those were the days when we didn’t expect more…when a victory by the Saints was a delightful surprise, and a loss was…well, the Saints. Just reality. Great food, great music, sucky football. The Way Things Are.

Now, we have great food, great music, and anguish. But do we want to grow back that scar tissue on the heart that made it less painful to watch your team blow chunks? Or should we hold out for excellence, and continue to bleed with every loss?

Your call.

Posted by Himself in Game Day | 15 comments

15 Comments

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  • FrenchieSeptember 16, 2012 at 6:02 pm

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    I sense dismay…

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  • AcquiredPanicSeptember 16, 2012 at 6:21 pm

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    I really wanted to watch some more football but I guess I’ll just get drunk. Maybe Frenchie still has some smoke to share…..

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  • The Angry Who DatSeptember 16, 2012 at 7:02 pm

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    Himself, our postgame posts sound exactly the same. Reaching for positivity and not quite finding it.

    I’m already lit, and I didn’t start drinking until after the game. It’s gonna be a long week. Pour me another.

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    • The Angry Who DatSeptember 16, 2012 at 7:03 pm

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      Since you look like you need a smile, may I remind you that this happened?

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      • HimselfSeptember 16, 2012 at 7:18 pm

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        Screw that. This happened:

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        • The Angry Who DatSeptember 16, 2012 at 7:25 pm

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          Nice! I started to say, photoshop in an XLVII logo and cheer us all up. But then you’d have to shop out Payton, and that’s pretty uncool.

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      • HimselfSeptember 16, 2012 at 7:24 pm

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        And what in the world did you do to your site? It looks like this now:

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        • The Angry Who DatSeptember 16, 2012 at 7:26 pm

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          Holy shit. Not for me. What browser are you using? I’ll get my brother/webmaster right on it, but he always asks that question. Apparently it matters.

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          • HimselfSeptember 16, 2012 at 8:27 pm

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            I think it’s something having to do with the AddToAny plugin. I turned off ad blockers and custom stylesheets, and it still looks like above. I turned off javascript, and it loads fine. Then I turned javascript back on, and individually blocked every single external javascript file, and it looks like above. That means, I think, that the problem is a script that’s embedded in the page.

            FWIW, I use Safari 3, which your brother the webmaster will just dismiss as obsolete…which it is. But it allows me to use the ad blockers and stylesheets that are the only things that make the internet tolerable. More to the point: last week, it displayed just fine.

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            • The Angry Who DatSeptember 17, 2012 at 8:55 am

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              I don’t know what any of that means, but thanks for the detailed information. I’ll copy/paste all of that into an email and see what he says.

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  • Breesus Christ SuperstarSeptember 16, 2012 at 7:24 pm

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    I feel like this is the beginning of the end. And I’m starting to be ok with it. It was a good run. There is just no way Spags can overcome the lack of talent on defense. Will Smith is a bloated tub of lard–we were better off when he was suspended. Rookie cornerbacks? From Samford no less? Well he looked like he played at Samford.

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    • The Angry Who DatSeptember 16, 2012 at 7:51 pm

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      You may be taking the panic too far, I think. Let’s just panic about 2012 for now.

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      • Breesus Christ SuperstarSeptember 16, 2012 at 7:55 pm

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        If Atlanta loses we are only one game out in the division. I’m hopeful, but I just don’t see it. Our defense couldn’t keep Tom Benson out of the endzone.

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  • HimselfSeptember 16, 2012 at 8:38 pm

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    A bit of context that I was unaware of earlier: in the Giants’ first two losses in 2007, they had two sacks. In their next two games–both wins–they had 14 sacks. A lot of that was due to a monster game by Osi Umenyiora against the Eagles, when he had 6 sacks all by himself. But still: subtract Osi’s sacks, and the Giants still improved by 400%.

    So…who’s going to play the Justin Tuck role? Who’s going to be Matthias Kiwanuka? How much playing time did Akiem Hicks and Martez Wilson get? Anybody?

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  • PhilistineSeptember 16, 2012 at 11:36 pm

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    The loss of Nicks to the Buccaneers looks worse now than it did during the off-season. Brees has been under a lot more pressure than usual. I suspect Bushrod got more help last year than this one, and now he’s getting spun around like Lindsey Lohan’s brain on a Saturday night. Colston has been unimpressive. Sproles, a RB, was our leading receiver today. Brees doesn’t have enough time to hit long passes. I have to believe that this can be fixed to some degree.

    In retrospect, maybe our expectations for defensive improvement were too high. New players, new schemes and off-season distractions have taken a greater toll than we thought. Let’s see if SpagNOLA has enough tools in his toolbox to build a functioning defense – and how long it takes if he does. I don’t like the Saints losing two winnable ball games. Maybe they’ll take away a couple that they shouldn’t later in the year.

    Finally, losing Loomis the Great, Payton, and Vitt for varying lengths of time is more disruptive than many of us thought. Unlike the first two problems, I don’t see this one improving much over time. Thanks, Goodzilla. Enjoy your stay in New Orleans next February. Peckerhead.

    The Saints are being nibbled to death by ducks. A bunch of small problems are adding up. Let’s see how many of them can be solved.

    We’re living in interesting times.

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