Saints Struggles: Welcome Back, New Orleans Aints

Neal HowardCorrespondent INovember 4, 2016

IconLast year, the New Orleans Saints' home opener could have been a Disney movie.

In their first appearance in the Superdome since Hurricane Katrina, the Saints made magic happen when they beat the Atlanta Falcons 23-3—the most memorable game in the team's history.

This year's home debut, though, was one the Saints would like to forget.

On Monday night, the 0-2 Saints desperately needed a win over the Tennessee Titans—both for themselves and for their fans.

It didn't happen.

As it stands, the Saints' stumbling start is almost evocative of Archie Manning and the New Orleans "Aints."

During Manning's 10-year tenure as the Saints quarterback, the team never managed a winning season, much less a playoff berth.  While Drew Brees accomplished both of those goals in 2006, can he do it again this year?

Another 10-6 record seems unlikely, but the Saints could still get to the playoffs.  Remember, they play in the NFC, where even 8-8 teams have a shot at the Wild Card.

What the Saints and coach Sean Payton need to do now is utilize Reggie Bush more.  With Deuce McAllister likely out for the season with a torn ACL, it's up to Bush to take the pressure off of a struggling Brees, who threw four interceptions against the Titans on Monday.

This will be no simple task.  Although Bush is a quick back, he still hasn't fully transitioned from college to pro football—he has a tendency to run laterally rather than vertically.

That said, any movement by the Heisman winner will greatly help his shaken QB, who needs to get his act together to reinstill a sense of pride in post-Katrina New Orleans.