Photo by Michael DeMocker/The Times-Picayune
First, came the loss. Before that could sink in, news hits that Jeremy Shockey is going to need surgery. Then reports came out that Sean Payton found that the refs had missed a Denver offsides penalty when Pierre Thomas was stopped short on third-down with two minutes to play.
The news, as expected, was not taken well in the Who Dat-sphere. There's grimacing about the Saints' prospects; some can't believe the Broncos' good fortune; and yet others wonder what to make of Deuce McAllister on the sidelines "all dressed up and nowhere to run." Of course all of this does take some of the focus off the first goat, Martin Gramatica (although there was also some holder controversy revealed).
That's a lot for Saints fans to digest in a 36-hour period. You can't blame people for, be it publicly or privately, fearing that this season is coming apart before it began. How could you not? The team's top receiver and marquee off-season acquistion are injured on offense and a defense that's let up over 27 points per game and developed a knack for getting beat on deep passes.
You could focus on all of that and drive yourself mad with despair. Or you could take a few deep breaths and look at the three main reasons the Saints will be OK (drinking whiskey in between doing all that also helps):
Yes, the worst case scenario is a scary one: Brees and Bush put up gaudy numbers while everyone else on the offense struggles and the defense breaks repeatedly gives up big plays and lots of touchdowns. They'd be like the Bengals the last couple of years minus all the arrests.
But if this team can keep calm in the face of all this adversity and nearly coming back from an 18-point deficit on the road should be some sort of indication that they're capable then there are more than just a couple of reasons to still be optimistic about this season.
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