NEW ORLEANS — It has been a long time since you’ve heard boos in the Louisiana Superdome.
There had been little reason to be disgusted.
Between self-inflicted wounds and the Browns going deep into their bag of tricks, the Saints turned in one of their worst performances in recent memory.
So much so that the first fans started heading for the exits with more than seven minutes remaining in the game.
There is a reason the kicking game is called special teams.
Just ask the Cleveland Browns.
Eric Mangini’s team pulled out all the stops Sunday in the Louisiana Superdome.
A lateral on an early punt return and a fake punt caught the Saints sleeping.
For good measure, Mangini tossed in a halfback pass from Peyton Hillis to quarterback Colt McCoy for 11 yards.
The well-timed gadget plays were not the sole reason for the Saints’ loss to the 13-point underdogs.
There is plenty of blame to go around.
There was no doubt Sunday that New Orleans was the more talented team on the field.
But what this team has in talent, it lacks in drive.
What it has in athleticism, it lacks in hunger.
This New Orleans Saints team is resting on last year’s accomplishments. Few teams, if any, are good enough to do so, and the Saints are no different.
It was only appropriate to open the second half with AC/DC’s Back in Black. For the record, the Saints were in white.
Yeah, it was that kind of day in the Crescent City.
And while no one around New Orleans wants to say it, Drew Brees deserves most of the blame for the offensive woes.
It was the second four-interception game of his career, dating back to Week 3 of the 2007 season.
“I think we are all doing a little soul searching,” Brees said. “We know how good we are and how good we can be. Obviously, we aren’t playing that way right now.
“We are doing things that are not like the things that we talk about, the things that we preach and the things that we understand win and lose football games in this league. … I think that is the part that is so frustrating.”
It is hard to blame Brees for being distracted, less than a week after the birth of his second child. But maybe playing “name that baby” on Twitter is not the best way to spend your time during the course of game week.
Mistakes proved costly again.
Malcolm Jenkins’ 38-yard pass interference that gave the Browns a first-and-goal at the 4 could have easily been an interception if the defensive back simply turns around.
via Saints can only blame themselves | gulflive.com.