(Photo Credit: Zumapress/Icon SMI) - Marques Colston grabs another Drew Brees pass - he scored both of the Saints touchdowns last Sunday.
After the Saints win in Nashville last Sunday, my family and I did our normal thing. Went to the gym and grabbed an early bite to eat. Donning our black and gold and fleur-di-lys’, we sparked a quite a few unsolicited comments….
“We should have won that game”…
“You didn’t beat us so much as we beat ourselves”…
“We had you on your heals”…
“The Saints are dirty and they cheated”…
Let’s take a look at each claim and rate it on our patented “Excuse-O-Meter”
1= “I’m pretty objective, but I do have a favorite team”
2= “Woe is Me”
3= “I have trouble accepting accountability and am seeking help to understand why”
4= “I’m picking up my toys and not inviting you to my birthday party!”
#1- “We should have won that game” – Rating (2). I suppose I could say the same thing about our season opener against the Packers. There is a big difference between COULD have and SHOULD have. If you looked at the statistics, and watched the game, the Saints outperformed the Titans on every offensive and defensive measure. The Saints defense, barring a couple of big plays, played very aggressively limiting their star rusher Chris Johnson to only 23 rush yards and the team to only 59 yards. Barring the big play, which has always been the Achilles heel, the defense played aggressively and made the big stops when it counted. The Titans only converted on one of 10 3rd down opportunities and came up big in the last two opponent possessions.
#2 - “You didn’t beat us so much as we beat ourselves” – Rating (1) Really? The Saints were called for 11 penalties totaling 95 yards (and negating a touchdown) versus the Titans’ 8 penalties for 54 yards. A blade of grass in the end zone and a quarterback false start were among the most unbelievable and frustrating calls that the Saints needed to rally through. Please, your fumble was ruled incomplete even though it seemed very apparent that the Saints defender hit Locker’s arm is what caused the forward motion. I get the rule…I don’t have a problem with it…but don’t use your penalties and unfavorable calls as an excuse.
#3 – “We had you on your heals”. No rating, this is true. The defense once again came through big in the end when we needed them to. All we needed, as many times in the past, was first down. For a team that has an established a passing identity, we ran three run plays in a row to go three and out. It seems all too familiar – we need a first down and can’t seem to get it. This is what kept the Titans in the game and why it came down to the wire.
#4 “The Saints are dirty and they cheated”. Rating (4). The “phantom whistle” excuse is about as plausible as the magic bullet from the grassy knoll. I am not certain if this accusation even reached reputable news sources because it was so asinine. One of the Titan’s players was “miked” for a local TV show – the video guy said he could “definitely” hear a whistle and it sounded as if it came from the Saints sideline. I could go into a variety of reasons as to why this is so absurd, but the allegation speaks for itself. Whistle-gate…that is an all time low for excuses.
We may have to revisit the excuse-o-meter because this clearly broke it!