31-14...again? I don't really know what happened to this team during the summer months, but I want my 2006 Saints back. The team looked really, really, really lackluster during Monday night's debacle, and now that the Saints have fallen all the way down to 0-3 on this short season, the outlook is even more ominous considering the sudden loss of Deuce McAllister for the season due to a torn ACL and meniscus in his left knee. Deuce tore the same ligament in his right knee in 2005, when Aaron Stecker was forced to take the reigns for the remainder of that season. Deuce is a 28 year old running back with two major knee injuries in his short career. His career may be in jeopardy. If Reggie Bush proves that he can handle the full workload of an NFL running back, and hopefully add a little bulk, the Saints might defer not to keep Deuce around for the $3.7M he's due in 2008. They may, however, ask to redo his contract to keep him around, but I wouldn't doubt he be signed by the Falcons and return to 1,500 yard, 12 TD form soon after. The injury bug also bit cornerback Jason David, as he has a broken forearm and is out 4-6 weeks.
Drew Brees was Rex Grossman-esque in the loss and, in fact, the two quarterbacks share very similar numbers so far this year. At a quick glance, Grossman has only 1 TD to 6 INT's compared to Brees's 1 TD to 7 INT's. Wow...that's really startling, especially considering that we all know that Rex Grossman is awful. Surely, this is just a funk that Brees has entered in his brief Saint career.
The offensive line has been pretty shaky so far, something that was expected of them last year, when they were way underexperienced to NFL action. The defensive line has provided absolutely no pressure to opposing quarterbacks. Vince Young, on Monday night, was allowed to stand in the pocket behind his wall of Titan lineman and pick apart the Saints defense. The safeties have been no where near the ball, nor have they laid any hits on crossing receivers. All in all, the team has been "what we thought they were" last year.
The Saints have a week off, and the season isn't over by a long shot. Here is where Sean Payton will show off his giant manhood. With Deuce out, look for some creative packages and designed running plays that maximize Reggie Bush's running style. There will be more draw plays with three and four wide receivers. Look for the rookie cornerback out of Kent State, Usama Young, to get a lot of playing time in the weeks to come now that David is on the shelf. Also, Robert Meachem might see the field as Devery Henderson has been a supreme turd so far. There will probably be some roster moves in the coming week or so, and the Saints may get creative. Or, they might just ride this one out.
Side note: The San Francisco 49'ers recently signed KR/PR/WR Michael Lewis. Good for you, Beer Man. Good luck. Go Saints.