Jamie Sabau/Getty Images
We've seen this narrative before.

A team that is expected to be a top-notch, Super Bowl contender starts the season off with a losing record and everyone begins to question whether or not they're actually for real.

Such is the case with the New Orleans Saints, who currently hold an 0-2 record. Their first loss was a crushing overtime defeat to the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta, and their second loss came at the hands of the somewhat surprising Cleveland Browns.

The Saints have been on the receiving end of some pretty bad luck in the first two games of the season. Had it not been for a few uncharacteristic drops by wide receiver Marques Colston, one of them coming in overtime, which set up the Falcons game-winning field goal, there's a good chance New Orleans would have pulled out the victory.

Last Sunday against the Browns, Drew Brees started off terribly and didn't really get going until the very end of the second quarter. He finished the day going 27 of 40 for 237 yards and threw two touchdown passes to Jimmy Graham.

One would have to think that had Brees not gotten off to a slow start, the Saints would have been in a better position to ice the game. They had the lead late in the fourth quarter, until Brian Hoyer miraculously engineered an 85-yard drive to set up a Billy Cundiff 29-yard field goal (that he didn't miss!) as time expired.

That's just flat out bad luck.

Colston is pretty sure-handed and the Saints can definitely play much better than they did, especially on the final drive of the game.

However, one thing that would seem to be working against the Saints in this case, is that they've been maligned as a bad road team dating back to the last couple of years. It just happens to some teams and there's really no concrete explanation for it.

Another issue I've seen in two games is that their pass defense is virtually non-existent. They're 32nd in the NFL is passing yards allowed, averaging 323.5 yards per game in that category. They're also near the bottom in terms of stopping the run, as they're 22nd in the league in that category, giving up an average of 122.5 yards on the ground per game.

Despite two heart-breaking losses in a row and a shaky defense that has the potential to be pretty good, I don't think it's time for anyone in New Orleans to panic.

First and most importantly, the Saints were literally seconds away from beating the Browns, and with a bounce or two the other way, should have, and could have beaten the Falcons.

Remember when the Bruins went down 0-2 to the Canucks in the Stanley Cup Final and some people said that it wouldn't be surprising if they came back to tie/win the series because they were in both of the first two games? Same thing here. That worked out pretty well for the Bruins, methinks.

Or how about the time the Patriots started off the 2001 season 0-2? They weren't viewed as Super Bowl contenders back then, but it still worked out well.

The Saints schedule over the next three weeks may be a relief, as well. Their next three games come against the Vikings, Cowboys and Buccaneers in that order. None of those teams should really scare you, especially if the Vikings decide to deactivate Adrian Peterson again amidst more controversy surrounding him.

If there was ever a time for the Saints to get it together, it'll be over the course of the next three weeks, because their schedule looks to be pretty brutal after they go up against Tampa Bay.

They're set to face teams such as Detroit, Green Bay, Cincinnati, Carolina, San Francisco through the middle of October until the middle of November. Then tie in divisional match ups, which are usually pretty tough no matter what, and that would make one think that New Orleans has to get it together before that stretch starts.

They still have Brees, Graham, Colston, and a good amount of playmakers on defense, a great coaching staff led by Sean Payton, and a division that outside of them and Carolina, is lacking.

The Saints will be just fine.

What do you think of the Saints chances to make it to the Super Bowl after a slow start? Follow me on Twitter - @JesseGaunce

For more of my articles, click here.

Jesse Gaunce 9/16/2014 04:10:00 PM Edit

« Prev Post Next Post »


    Powered by Blogger.