Deke Bellavia: Saints on the Road? Again?
Man oh man, this Saints/Rams loss was bad. We all know how disturbing and disheartening the 27-16 loss was. Some call it the biggest loss in the Payton/Brees era. We also know what this team is capable of doing.
In 2006 the Saints were amazing with a unique story that grabbed the world’s attention. In 2009 the Saints were just better than everybody they beat. In 2010 the Saints fought their way to a playoff spot. And, in 2011 (many of us still feel very strongly) the Saints were a team that could have and perhaps would have won the Super Bowl.
And, this season is this season. So far the Saints are hailed as a team that’s not good on the road. And if “team” is the main concept, I guess we have to take a look at the glass half full instead of half empty. Even though the Saints are playing badly, they are playing badly as a team.
In their last four road games the Saints played consistently poorly in all phases of the game--offense, defense and special teams. They’ve come up short of expectations in every way.
I will not relive all of those bad moments. Let’s not live in the past. Let’s look forward. Now at 3-4 on the road with one road game left, time is running out for the Saints to look formidable when they’re away from the Mercedes Benz Superdome.
Even Coach Payton opened his post-game press conference basically saying how disappointed he is in his team’s play on the road. And Payton said the Saints have to question themselves on many fronts about what kind of team they are.
The Saints are not a good road team. And now they’ve been called to check themselves by their head coach…after Coach Payton first checked himself by taking responsibility for this loss. Now with their backs against the wall…facing a first round road playoff game, if not a more severe dent into what looked to be a promising post season…the Saints face a must win situation at Carolina.
The Saints will have to perform far better and win. If they don’t, it’s only going to get more difficult to deal with the moniker “road dog or dog on the road.” So, which is it? Why does this team play so poorly on the road? I don’t know how to drop the science on that.
But I will tell you, if the Saints don’t win their next road game against the Panthers… the most important game… this team could find themselves not talking about how bad they are on the road but how they won’t even get to play on the road, again!