Loss of key starters and Will Smith trial distractions culminated in a loss that knocked the Saints out a winning season during Saints versus Buccaneers. Drew Brees was picked off three times while he stared down receivers. The play calling was suspicious with limited runs mixed into the scheme. The Saints failed to move the ball on the offense, but the defense kept them in the game holding the Buccaneers to 16 points. The penalties were demonstrative of a team that lacks focus.
There are several pro bowl quality players on this team–Drew Brees, Max Unger, Terron Amstead, Cameron Jordan, Kenny Vaccaro, Vonn Bell, Mike Thomas, Brandin Cooks, Willie Snead, and Thomas Morstead, Other Saints have had a wonderful year such as Nick Fairley, Zach Strief, and Sterling Moore. It is a roster that needs depth and a running game.
There were so many games that were very close this year but it feels as if the Saints have lost momentum and vigor after the win over the Rams. However, I will say it would be nearly impossible to win a game with so many starters out, the hunger of the Bucs team and the heart break of seeing the Will Smith family struggling during a horrific trial which many Saints players and Coach Payton attended.
It is time to reboot and begin to think of next year.