New Orleans Saints
Entering Week 15, the New Orleans Saints’ chances of making the playoffs weren’t much better than my chances of winning the Powerball. However, New Orleans showed a great deal of fortitude by still giving an outstanding effort against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In fact, the Saints crushed the Buccaneers 41-0 for their first shutout since blanking the New York Jets 12-0 on Christmas Eve in 1995.
I was not surprised that Drew Brees responded after three straight losses. Brees threw for 307 yards and four TDs. And in typical Brees fashion, each TD went to a different Saints WR. The shocker came on the other side of the ball for New Orleans.
On pace to give up more yards than any NFL defense in history, the Saints gave one of their best defensive efforts in history. Prior to the game against the Buccaneers, New Orleans had only had 12 shutouts in franchise history dating back to 1967. However, I could have sworn the Dome Patrol was shutting down the Buccaneers today.
The Buccaneers did accumulate 386 yards of offense, but most of that came late. I was most impressed with the Saints’ five turnovers. In fact, New Orleans intercepted the Buccaneers four times. For anyone who has watched New Orleans play all year, it is almost incomprehensible that they could intercept four passes in one game.
The Buccaneers are an improved team, but they must reverse this trend of playing poorly late in the season. I remember watching a Buccaneers game late last year against the Atlanta Falcons and it seemed like they didn’t even want to play. Although I’m a Saints’ fan, there is no excuse for any NFL offense to get shutout by New Orleans.
Fortunately, the Saints proved that they still have the heart of a winner even though the playoffs are no longer a realistic possibility. Besides playing for pride, they’re also playing for their careers in the “Not For Long” NFL. The next two weeks should be a lot of fun for fans in New Orleans as the Saints hope to finish the season at 8-8.
The Saints went a long way towards establishing momentum into the offseason with their shutout win over the Buccaneers.
Patrick Michael lives in New Orleans and has always been a big fan of the New Orleans Saints. Patrick’s favorite Saints season was 2009 when New Orleans won Super Bowl 44. Follow Patrick Michael on Twitter at patmichael84.
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