Well Saints fans, it was bound to happen. No matter how good an NFL team is, that team is bound to lose at some point in its season. It’s been that way for more than 40 years. And in the same way that there are character building wins, there can be character building losses. The last thing you want is for that character building first loss to come in a Super Bowl as it did for the devil’s spawn, a.k.a. the New England Patriots. For the New Orleans Saints, that loss came against said spawn and quite honestly, it couldn’t come at a better time.
We all knew going into this season the Saints would face a tough road game stretch against the Chicago Bears and Pats. Both teams are solid and both play well at home. The Saints won the game that mattered most, against the NFC opponent. Sure it would have been great to snag the win against the Patriots too before heading into the bye week, but it just wasn’t in the cards. And our team now has two weeks to regroup from a tough loss, heal from injuries, and learn from its mistakes.
I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking the Saints got cheated because they weren’t only playing against a future hall of fame coach and quarterback but the refs too. Well in many ways, you are right. There were some pretty egregious referee calls in that game. Mind numbing, in fact. But I just can’t be that fan who resorts to “ref blaming” at every turn. The Saints offense didn’t do what it needed to do in the first half and got conservative with the game on the line and it cost us. That’s the bottom line. There are bad calls and stomach-turning no-calls in every game. I’m sure the Saints have been on the positive end of a few of those a time or two. That’s why we can’t let games come down to the refs. We can only focus on what we can control.
Rumors are swirling that the Patriots were awarded an extra time out in the 4th quarter. Don’t even click on those articles and Facebook posts. It will uselessly add to the rage as the graphic on screen is wrong and the theory of the phantom timeout has been debunked. Would it really matter anyway? No one is changing the outcome of the game so why even get sucked in?
There are some really shitty football teams in this league right now. (I’m looking at you, rest of NFC South.) There are also some pretty damn good ones. We are thankfully among the latter group. 5-1 is nothing to scoff at. In fact, the New Orleans Saints are still very much in control of their own destiny. Undefeated regular seasons do not guarantee Super Bowl wins, ain’t that right Pats fans? And I don’t know about you Saints fans, but I’m in this for another ring. I believe we have the right group of talent to get it done.
While I understand what happened on Sunday was a crushing defeat (I actually posted a Facebook status telling the world to “eff off” minutes after the game ended) there are plenty of reasons to be cheerful this Monday morning. Our team is relatively healthy. Our defense, despite that last drive, kept us in the game for the most part and continues to impress. And we’ve gotten the monkey of the “first loss” off of our backs. This team has been reminded that they are indeed beatable! Now they can build upon their mistakes and come back stronger.
Plus, the bandwagon was just getting a little too crowded, wouldn’t you say?