Ain't much good in New Orleans

Cold, Hard Football Facts for Sep 24, 2007

The Saints are a feel-good story no more.
In fact, they've become a feel-bad-for-you story, the upstart team that football fans would like to see succeed even though all the facts suggest it's impossible.
It's as if the 2007 Saints have been hit with the football version of Hurricane Katrina – everyone's partying and having a good time, and all of a sudden water is everywhere and you wonder if you'll ever get back on your feet.
The loss of Deuce McAllister for the season is probably the killing blow for New Orleans, the levee that collapses in on the organization and leaves it with one less option in a season where nothing works.
The Saints are 0-3, and the chances of an 0-3 team making the playoffs are fairly well documented. The last team to do it was Buffalo in 1998 (a team which had miracle worker Doug Flutie to dig it out of the 0-3 hole), and in case you're still using dial-up, wearing sideburns and waiting for John Glenn to return from space we should remind you that 1998 was almost a decade ago.
But the Saints aren't just losing, they're getting crushed – all three losses by 17 points or more.
The last team to open the season with such a streak was the 2001 Buffalo Bills team that finished 3-13 under Gregg Williams.
Will the Saints be that bad?
Consider ...
  • They have four offensive touchdowns (and three field-goal attempts) in three games.
  • They allow 9.96 yards per pass attempt, worst in the league.
  • They have no sacks.
  • WR Devery Henderson leads the NFL in drops (4); he has four catches. 
  • Drew Brees has fewer passes of 25+ yards (2) in 130 attempts than Arizona's Kurt Warner has in 20 (4)
  • Brees, who represented the NFC in the Pro Bowl last year, has a passer rating of 57.1, 32nd in the NFL.
  • Reggie Bush averages 2.8 yards per carry and 4.4 yards per catch.
  • The Saints are 29th in Yards Per Pass Attempt (4.84)
  • They've held a lead this season for a grand total of 7 minutes, 42 seconds.
  • They have 78 yards rushing on first down (31st)
About the only thing to be said for the Saints is that they've thus far played three teams that appear to have their act together: Tampa, Tennessee and Indianapolis. Things will get a bit easier on the schedule.
Here's the bad news: there are only two games against Atlanta remaining on the schedule, not 13.
So, while it won't be quite as difficult the rest of the way for New Orleans, it's always tough when your season is over in September.
But they'll always have 2006.

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