You bet it stings. You bet it's a big blow to a team that wanted to use the turbulent offseason as fuel to the fire, but the Saints remain steadfast in their belief they have the right people to climb out of a huge hole.
"Every Monday I go in and see Mr. Benson on top of other days, and this organization -including Mr. Benson- is as solid as a rock right now, and we're all in. Everybody's together. Mr. Benson's together (in this). He realizes the situation, and he feels good about the way it's happening. Obviously he doesn't feel good about the record, and we don't like it for him and the fans. Everyone's trying way too hard to lose these games, but we're going to get it fixed. We're going to get it fixed one day at a time and as a group." interim Head Coach Aaron Kromer declared. "We're that close."
While they might be close, the Saints simply aren't good enough. Kromer added that it's as simple as execution as to why the Saints are struggling.
After back to back weeks of allowing an opponent to rush for more than 200 yards on the ground, the Saints defense is clearly in the crosshairs of fans and experts. "It's not the scheme, Spagnuolo's scheme is sound," said WWL NFL analyst Mike Detillier.
Well the question becomes is it the players? It's one or the other. If it's not the scheme, it has to be the players. The Saints lack that difference maker on defense. Sure, they've gotten by in the past without one, but when the offense gives up four sacks, and doesn't secure a first down for the entire 4th quarter and overtime; the defense will be and is exposed. The defense was on the field 90 plus snaps during the loss to Kansas City. That is way too many snaps for any defense.
The Saints refuse to use that as an excuse, but clearly this team is missing the presence of their emotional leader. Sean Payton has presence that is irreplaceable with this organization. It's not so much on game day, but throughout the week in preparation. It was no more obvious than Sunday when the Saints called back to back time outs and were assessed a delay of game penalty. NFL rules prohibit teams for calling back to back time outs. The Saints won't use it as a reason for their struggles, but it's clear to me that is the main factor. I'm not saying the Saints would be 3 and 0, but I can't help but think they would be at least 1 and 2 with Payton.
No Way in Green Bay:
It's easy to make the argument the Saints don't stand a chance this week on the road against Green Bay in the majestic Lambeau field. It's one of the toughest visiting venues in the NFL for any team. At 0 and 3, it's daunting to think the Saints can go on the road in that environment and beat one of the best teams in the NFC. "I refuse to say we don't have a chance to win in Green Bay," said Kromer.