Only douchebags of the Roddy White variety complain after a loss that “The other team didn’t win. We beat ourselves.” Thankfully, none of the New Orleans Saints players are douchebags, at least not openly. But we kinda are and we’re just gonna go ahead and say it, Dennis Green meltdown style. “The 49ers are who we thought they were. And we let ‘em off the hook!”
It started with Drew Brees. Drew, we fans may call you Breesus, but you’re not exactly free of sin. The last thing we expected you to do against a stiff defense like the 49ers was to go flinging the ball in the air all willy-nilly like you were playing Auburn. And while perfection is tough against a top rated D, protecting the ball is top priority. We handed them a touchdown. (I won’t count the other interception since that came off a deflected pass, although it hurt just the same.) But that first pick 6 was totally avoidable. Before long, the 49ers’ defense could smell blood in the water. They shredded our offensive line, flung Brees into the ground like a rag dog and shut down any attempt at a comeback. It cut me. It cut me deep.
Drew Brees seems to be good for a brain fart game like that every now and then. Because he’s awesome so often, it’s hard to hold this against him. But it’s important to call him out given the other big shocker of this game.
THE DEFENSE PLAYED WELL!!
We’ve given the Saints D a lot of crap over the past few months and it was well deserved crap. But they’ve shown steady improvement and on Sunday, I was nearly convinced that the improvement wasn’t a fluke. Anyone who saw what 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick did to the Bears knows that this wasn’t a “gimme game” with a rookie QB by any stretch. And let’s not forget that the 49ers have Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter, a two-headed beast that can give fits to even the stingiest front four. But against the Saints, Gore only managed to rack up garbage yards in the final minutes and Kendall Hunter was carted off the field. This defense FINALLY did its job and they deserve a lot of credit.
What’s upsetting about this loss, beyond the fact that it was to the f*cking 49ers, is that a win would have put us in the driver’s seat in the chase for a Wildcard spot in the playoffs. After all, teams like the Bucs, Cowboys and Vikings all dropped games this weekend. We were well on our way! Of course, it’s still not over for us. The road is just tougher…and ickier. We basically have zero margin for error.
So now, it’s on to the “Georgie Superdome”, our home away from home. It’s a game that should be testy and nerve-wracking and everything we Saints fans have come to expect. The bottom line is that come Thursday night, we’ll either be dancing in the streets…or put out of our misery. Not terrible options when you consider how this season started.