Just Another Day At The Office

10

 
office

Are the Saints boring? Well, not to Who Dats, yet. But to fans of other teams, there must be a certain prosaic quality about this team: they just show up, get down to work, win. Kinda monotonous.

 

I think by now most of you realize I don’t live in New Orleans. I don’t even live in Louisiana. Hell, for that matter I don’t even live in the Gulf South: this blog comes to you from the mountains of North Carolina, deep in the heart of enemy territory. This means (being deprived of many modern conveniences, such as a satellite dish or an indestructible sense of entitlement) that I don’t get to watch all the Saints’ games live. Prime time, or game-of-the-week sort of matchups I get; the rest of the time, it’s the punks and thugs in Panther blue.

So a lot of the time, come Monday all I know is that the Saints won. I know the score, I’ve seen the highlights, but I rarely have what could be considered at all a deep understanding of what actually transpired. For that, I have to wait until the wife and I have a free evening to curl up around the computer for some NFL Rewind. I have to admit, it’s actually kinda pleasant to watch the game without having to worry about it—you know that this interception won’t matter, that Payton will win his challenge, and that 3rd and 23 means nothing when you have Drew Brees and Jimmy Graham. As incredible as it may seem—and it’s probably a sign of the end times, come to think of it—Saints fans, us included, have become used to winning. We expect it.

And that makes it difficult to think of anything to say. Oftentimes, there isn’t really anything to say, but we say it anyway. The Saints won again. They did it the same way as before, because it works. They’ll do it again next week, too. Ho. And also hum.

Seriously: for someone who grew up on equal portions of panic and dread, this is almost like coming out of the closet. The sheer relief is mind-boggling. Perhaps that’s the problem: I’m boggled. I got nothing. And it’s glorious: the Saints won because that’s what’s supposed to happen.

Every once in awhile, though, it actually comes in handy catching the game after all the bluster and foofaraw is over with, because the disconnect between what actually happened and the reaction to it can be instructive. The Bills game was an example of this. In the immediate aftermath the most popular theme was that the offense played like immortal crap for much of the first half, before scratching out a lead and managing to build on it in the second. The reality was different. Maybe you need to come to things late to see them this way, but to me it looked like just another day at the office.

So they started out slow? Well, you probably do too. Maybe Drew hadn’t had his coffee yet. Maybe the offensive line hadn’t had Drew’s coffee yet, or something like that. They spent most of the first quarter looking for the creamer, checking out their Facebook pages, straightening the pencils on their desks. Then it was time to actually get something done

…and BAM! Lance Moore is giving a PowerPoint presentation in the end zone. Then the meeting breaks up, and while everyone is standing around eating donuts and brushing sugar off their lapels, the Bills, like a bunch of overeager DECA interns, actually manage to grab the lead. And the Saints’ reaction was “What? Oh. Yeah. Here, hold this…I’ll be back in a minute.”

…and BAM! Kenny Stills is delivering a marketing feasibility study for 69 yards and a touchdown. And at that point, roughly the equivalent of 9:30 in the morning, the game is already over. The Saints are on it, and they’re ISO-9000 certified. The Bills have no chance.

And bear in mind: this was an entire office just coming off vacation. So it took them a little while to get revved up; once they got down to it, what did you see? You saw a bunch of ruthless, savvy professionals who more than doubled their opponents’ point total, and came away dissatisfied. Because a typical day at the office—winning by three scores—isn’t good enough. Not anymore.

That’s the best thing about all this: not that we, the fans, have become so used to winning that we expect it, but that the team has become so used to winning, and winning in a dominating fashion, that a double-digit beatdown isn’t good enough for them. They’re going for the Cadillac Eldorado; let the Panthers win the steak knives.

And the Falcons and Bucs? They can go home and play with their kids.

So, what can we expect next week against the Jets in New Jersey? More of the same. A little sharper, a little more focused…and probably a bit more contained as well, since the Jets have a much better defense than the Bills. So instead of winning by 18 points, we only win by 14. Make it 31-17 (I like that score).

And no one will be surprised.

Posted by Himself in 2013 Season, Game Day | 10 comments

10 Comments

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  • zsaintsNovember 1, 2013 at 9:18 am

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    Nice piece. Kudos. I must admit, though, that the Saints still worry me. It’s nice to see people, like Shutdown corner, thinking that the Saints will get 1st seed. That would make all the difference in the world, this year. Home team advantage in the playoffs, could be crucial.

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    • HimselfNovember 1, 2013 at 9:41 am

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      I’ve decided that there’s really only one thing worth worrying about: that the Saints play up to their potential. If they fail to win a championship because they’re just not the best, so be it. If they fail because the injury bug hits, oh well. Happens. The ONLY thing I’m going to allow myself to worry about from now on is: will they lose because they didn’t prepare, or didn’t focus, and allowed an inferior team to skate past them? Like they did with Seattle in 2010. Like they did with San Francisco in 2011.

      The Tampa game this year was excruciating because they waited until the final minute to get their act together. But futzing around for the first quarter? I can bear that. All it proved is that two quarters of the Saints is better than four quarters of the Bills.

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      • zsaintsNovember 2, 2013 at 9:46 am

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        I agree with your first paragraph completely. But, it also shows the problem with you second paragraph. For some of the teams coming up, they will need to be playing well every second of every quarter. As you say, though, we’ll see. I hope they get the offensive rookies as well entrenched as they have with the defensive. It looks like Still is permanently on Drew’s radar, at least.

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        • HimselfNovember 2, 2013 at 10:25 am

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          You really didn’t state what your worry was. Most people right about now are worried about two things: either the offense is “one-dimensional” because they can’t run; or the defense, while improved, is still giving up way too much on the ground.

          But here’s how I see it: the Saints can run. They just don’t, much. And they’re getting better. As long as Pierre stays healthy, and as long as Payton realizes he’s the guy who needs to get the lion’s share of the snaps (like he did against Buffalo), and as long as they continue to improve, I think we’ll be fine come playoff time. As for the rush defense, a lot of those big plays come on blitzes, where guys are out of position. The same as it was with Gregg Williams from time to time–it’s just an occupational hazard. All in all, this is probably the best defense Payton has ever had. It’s even approaching the 2009 defense in takeaways: we had 39 that year, and we’re on a pace for 34 this season.

          Now, it’s perfectly possible the Saints may have a flat game (or two). It’s equally possible that the other guys will. Those things even out, so saying the Saints need to play well every second isn’t necessarily true. What they need to do is, in critical situations they need to be the ones that come out on top. They came from behind against New England and had the game won, until they lost it on one play (with some help from the officials). That’s what I don’t want to see any more of. That and the Tampa game. The only reason we won that game was, it was the Bucs. Had it been the Seahawks or even the Cowboys, we would have had our asses handed to us.

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          • zsaintsNovember 3, 2013 at 9:05 am

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            My worry was that they seem to sleep through a lot of the game. That’s an exaggeration, of course, but they do seem to drift a lot. But, I’m good with your point that it’s all about what the score is at the end of the game. It’s just that, if they put away the game early and keep the opponent at arm’s lenght, then there won’t be any flukes like the Patriots game and probably be less heart attacks amongst Saints fans.

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  • HollywooNovember 1, 2013 at 10:32 am

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    No doubt, they are a second half team. As I was watching the first and second quarter, seeing the Bills take the lead, I turned to my uncle and said “they’ll make the adjustments at halftime. We always do. No problem-we got this.”

    If we get the #1 seed, we’re going to New York, no doubt. God I want Seattle to have to play a playoff game in our f’n house. And those faggot 49ers.

    Number one seed, bye week, crush the 49er’s dreams, crush Seahawk’s dreams, win the SB in Roger’s home town.

    Fuck Roger.

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    • HimselfNovember 1, 2013 at 11:37 am

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      I want to see the entire Saints team lined up on the field at the trophy presentation, and some MVP from ages past walks onto the field with the Lombardi. The team surrounds him before he can make the podium, Tom Benson takes the trophy, and without a word walks off the field, followed by the entire team. Sean Payton last; and before he leaves the field he turns and gives Goodell both middle fingers.

      Won’t happen, of course, which is yet another good indication that we live in an imperfect world.

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      • zsaintsNovember 2, 2013 at 9:51 am

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        Archie would be perfect. You know, I was a bit shocked to find out, due to an article on the Ring of Honor, that Archie was not in the Hall of Fame. I guess I undestand, since it’s all about results (I won’t go into that whole mantra) but it’s sad that, due to lack of support, such a special player is not recognized. Just the way it goes, I guess. And, having Peyton and Eli as son’s has to make up for a lot.

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    • zsaintsNovember 2, 2013 at 9:47 am

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      I miss the 2009 Saints that came off the starter blocks blazing and leaving their opponents in the dust. As I’ve meniioned on a different site, I think we will begin to see that soon, once again.

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  • zsaintsNovember 2, 2013 at 9:51 am

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    Hmmm, no edit function. I guess that means I’ll have to be careful.

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