The New Orleans Saints took care of business two weeks too late with a 42-17 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. After a two-game losing skid, the Saints went from the No. 2 seed in the NFC all the way down to the sixth seed where they will now spend the playoffs on the road.
With the Saints going undefeated at home, losing that higher seed may prove to be extremely costly. The Saints consistently look like the best team in the NFL at home but resemble the Bad News Bears on the road.
In this particular contest, the Saints found a way to manufacture a ton of explosive plays all while hitting 10 different receivers in the process. Sans a few explosive plays of its own, Tampa Bay was unable to generate a significant amount of offense.
The Saints had a solid showing in all phases of the game, but it was the offensive line that was the key to this one. The swagger with which the Saints operate at home needs to be bottled up for the playoff run.
When a team is as talented as New Orleans, there's no reason to ever lose multiple games in a row—regardless of the venue.
The Saints must now replicate this performance on the road, in less-than-ideal conditions, to procure that Lombardi Trophy. Maybe this win will galvanize the entire team, and they will catch fire like we've seen with recent Super Bowl winners.
The Saints have as good of a shot as anyone. It's time to show and prove.