As far as the play on the field goes, the defensive performance against a team that put up 62 points a week earlier was astounding. Here are the halftime stats for the Saints: 0 points, 7 first downs, 18 rush yards, 76 passing yards, 94 total yards and 1 turnover. Here are the stats at the two-minute warning in the 4th quarter, when the game was already decided (Rams corresponding stats in parenthesis): 14 points (31), 15 first downs (21), 56 rush yards (184), 162 passing yards (140), 218 total yards (324) and 2 turnovers (1). Those are absolutely astonishing numbers. I think we knew heading into the season that the defense was going to have to lead this team, and they finally did it this week. If you throw in the obvious injury problems in the secondary, it’s even more impressive.
We all know that this was a big win and a great performance, but I’m more interested now in how the team responds next week. Are they going to build off this win, or will they lose that sense of urgency and revert back to their early form? I think the answer to this question will speak to the job Spags is doing. If the team comes out in Arizona looking like the team we saw Sunday, that tells me that we might need to lengthen the leash on this coaching staff. If we see the team we saw over the first seven weeks, that’s a direct indictment of the staff’s inability to consistently get this team ready to play. It might seem like simplifying a bit, but with the way this season has been going for Spags I think we are to a point where every game needs to be scrutinized.
Also, stay tuned for plenty of pictures coming this week. I took about 70 or so at the game, so I will be sharing some of them in the coming days.