Sean Payton had success in his first year as the coach of the New Orleans Saints, taking the Saints all the way to the NFC Championship Game, where they lost against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Maybe the Saints were riding on an emotional wave that crashed against the rocks at the RCA Dome at the beginning of last year.
After a devastating loss to the Indy Colts, the Saints went 0-3 before finally winning a game against the Seattle Seahawks. They finished at 7-9, when most people had picked them to make the playoffs and make a run at the Super Bowl.
That all happened last season.
Now, they are sitting at 3-4 and the NFC South isn't waiting around for the Black and Gold anymore. The Panthers, Falcons, and the Bucs are all trying to win the division while the Saints are floundering after an embarrassing 30-7 loss at the hands of the Panthers last Sunday.
This team could easily be 6-1 right now, if not for a critical interception thrown late (not the fault of Drew Brees—a Saints' receiver tipped the ball) against the Redskins, and two missed field goals against the Vikings and Broncos. Had this all not happened, this team would probably be at the top of the division right now.
Tomorrow they face another disappointing team in the San Diego Chargers, who are also sitting at 3-4. But with the Broncos also starting to fall in the standings, they have more of a chance at the playoffs than New Orleans does right now.
The Saints need a win tomorrow, badly.
This is a must-win game if I have ever seen one, and with injuries and suspensions that seem to be looming over the team, it's going to be a long year if they don't get back on track.