The Saints had one of the most embarrassing post-season exits in recent memory last year by having to go on the road as an 11 – 5 Wild Card team to face the division winning 7 – 9 Seattle Seahawks…and losing.
Some might say they could feel a collapse coming, after all the Saints struggled early on in the season, losing to both Arizona and Cleveland, but put together a fantastic middle third of the season to make it out of the NFC South.
But can you really be too hard on the Saints for struggling under such strange circumstances? I mean they did handily beat Seattle earlier in the Season and at 7 – 9, could you blame the Saints for looking past Seattle? Yes. Yes you can.
Losing in the first round after winning the Super Bowl isn’t a terrible thing, but it’s how New Orleans went out that makes for some concern.
Now they head into 2011 without Reggie Bush, and were ranked 28th overall in the league in Rush Yards per game last year. Chris Ivory filled in well for Pierre Thomas all season, but Thomas is coming off ankle surgery in the off-season, and Ivory isn’t able to even practice yet.
Remember, The Saints didn’t just throw their way to a Super Bowl in 2009, it was that opportunistic defense and a very well balanced offensive attack that won for them – contrary to the current reputation of Drew Brees.
Sure, Brees can throw the lights out, but throwing because you want to and throwing because you have to are two very different things.
And that is when better teams will take advantage. The Saints had to throw last year, and they will again in 2011.
Their pass defense is fantastic, rush D is decent, but you can’t throw your way back to a Super Bowl…just ask the New England Patriots.
14 to 1 is decent money, but not certainly the value I need to see to jump on these legless Saints.