Up and down:
The Saints are 5 and 3 at the halfway point of the 2011 NFL season. Most teams would take that! However the Saints have lost two of their last three games. In two out of their three losses this season the Saints have turned the ball over 6 times...all six turnovers have come via a Drew Brees interception. What's more? They've forced just one turnover in the three losses this season. Last year the 2010 Saints were 5 and 3 after eight games, and we saw flashes of greatness, and moments of futility. We're seeing the same things this year. Complete dominance, coupled with head scratching inconsistency. If they don't fix the problem, the Saints could be "one and done" in the postseason once again. That is of course if they make the postseason.
The Saints say they will move on from the loss to the Rams, but this one might linger a little longer than another loss. After all, this was the most embarrassing defeat of the Sean Payton era. "We have to move on, we have Tampa coming up and it's a divisional game. We are all anxious to get back to work on Wednesday to forget about this game and focus on getting a win against the Bucs," linebacker JoLonn Dunbar told me. Tampa beat the Saints 26 to 20 back in week 6 at Raymond James stadium. This will be an important week for the Black and Gold to see how they respond in the face of adversity.
#64 plans to play this week:
Offensive lineman Zack Strief told me that he plans to be on the field this week against Tampa, after missing 5 games with a knee injury. Strief practiced with no setbacks last week. Charles Brown filled in for Strief during the previous 5 games and played well, except this past week against St. Louis. Brown gave up three sacks to Rams defensive end Chris long in Sunday's 31 to 21 loss. One man won't make a huge difference on the offensive line, but Strief's return would surely be welcomed.