“God is an illusionist, and everything in nature is a form of misdirection.”
I think it was Einstein who said that. Or maybe Heraclitus. Or, what the hell, me, at about 8:28 am this morning. Doesn’t make it not true.
We spend our lives going “How the hell did You DO that!?” And God just laughs, and says “Now watch carefully…Ha! Sucker! Got you again! Okay, seriously, watch carefully…”
We figured this whole 0-4 thing was misdirection, and that God, or Fate, or the vengeful shade of Buddy Diliberto, or something was going to see to it that the Saints came roaring back out of nowhere, breaking hearts and affecting heads across the length and breadth of this once-great land. But that was the misdirection. (Watch carefully…)
So it’s more than fitting it’s probably inevitable that our nemesis should prove to be the San Francisco Forty-Fucking-Niners. The last time we were good, it was always the 49ers who crowded us away from the top. Why should we be surprised when they show up again in their long-accustomed role? Just like old times.
Sure, they had help. Drew had a bad day. His line had an even worse one. The running game was somewhere on a beer run, apparently. But I’m not going to go all Roddy White here: the 49ers beat us. Like a drum, in fact. That they shouldn’t have is another matter, and a purely speculative one at that. It is what it is, and we are what our record says we are. Which is, out of it. Kaput. Verklempt.
And I’m sorry, but the media once again has it wrong. The storyline coming out of MediaCentral is that the 49ers’ defense is just too good, that not even a high-powered attack like the Saints’ can thrive against them. (Which is why, I guess, they lost to the Vikings and tied the powerhouse Rams.) It’s true that the 49ers’ defense is pretty damn good, maybe the best in the league. But we still scored 21 points on them, on a bad day. We proved it’s possible to move the ball, and feed the scoreboard, on one of the best defenses the league has to offer.
No, the problem is the other way around: we still have no defense. For all the blather you hear about how the defense is coming on, how it’s improving every game, it’s still ranked dead last.
San Francisco’s offense is highly ranked, statistically, but don’t be fooled: that’s an artifact of the defense. When your stop unit is properly stopping, the offense gets more and better chances to rack up yards and points. How many TDs do you think Drew would have thrown if the Saints’ defense had been piling up three-and-outs? That’s right. So you can forget those two pick-sixes which, give them their due, were great plays on the part of the 49ers. So we keep them on the board…because they wouldn’t have mattered if the 49ers’ rudimentary offense had been stopped. Few offensive points, more and better chances for the Saints equals a win.
As it stands now, the Saints are still breathing. They might be able to stand long enough for other teams to fuck up and miss the playoffs instead. If that happens, all we’ve gained is the right to get steamrolled by either Chicago or New York in the first round. Better than nothing, I suppose…but not quite the trophy presentation we envisioned to start the year.
[Note: don't tell Anyone...but I'm trying to be humble and contrite. Maybe He'll get the idea that all this has been some lovely misdirection and bring off the last thing we expect...like THE SAINTS WINNING THE SUPER BOWL. NOPE, NO WAY THAT HAPPENS NOW. UH UH. Okay, now watch carefully...]