Wow. It’s the middle of Tuesday afternoon and it’s still hard to wrap my brain around the beating New Orleans suffered at the hands of the
Seadderall Seattle Seahawks last night. With the exception of a couple of bend-but-don’t-break performances by the defense, which, for the most part, kept Marshawn Lynch in check, there isn’t much good to take from a game like that. It was, almost without doubt, the worst loss of the Payton – Brees era and leaves the Saints to regroup with huge games looming against the streaking Carolina Panthers. But, as I search for silver linings, it turns out the bright side of this game is just how unexpected the outcome was.
Of course many picked Seattle to win, given their overall talent and significant home field advantage, but most predictions called for a close game with lots of scoring. But, for many years, lopsided losses were the norm for the Saints and their fans. A game like this would have barely raised an eyebrow.
Cherry-picking the three years of the Ditka era (truly a shooting star of hope that quickly faded into the great nothingness), you can see how common bad losses were. 1997 and 1998 featured two 20+ point losses during trying 6-10 seasons, before the team bottomed out during a putrid 1999 that saw a whopping FIVE losses by 20+ points, including 43-12 and 45-13 beatdowns. And that’s just 20+ point losses, lower the threshold to double digits and you get an astounding 20 out of 33 losses by 10+ points in only three seasons.
Those were, admittedly, among the lowest eras of Saints football, but that is the point. This was a team where such losses were ho-hum, what-else-is-new and, most importantly, expected. Every year it was assumed that there would be 2-3, or 5, games where the Saints would have no chance. Now a loss like last night’s, blown out against the team with the best record in the stronger conference, one of the best home teams with one of the best home field advantages in the league, is downright shocking.
Even better is the team’s response. No excuses. No whining. No woulda-coulda-shoulda’s. Just, “OK, we took one on the chin, now let’s pick ourselves up and get ready for the next challenge.” It is, in your writer’s humble opinion, the best attitude to take. If life gives you lemons, you make lemonade, take a sip and prepare to beat the tar out of the next person that throws citrus your way.
Hopefully, if there is any justice in this world, next year the NFL will schedule Seattle for a Monday night in the Superdome.