The New Orleans Saints lost the Game of the Year (TM) Sunday by just two points, but it sounds as if they feel like they lost by 20.
Cam Jordan has robbed himself of sleep to study the game tape, according to The Athletic, and Sean Payton is being questioned by everyone — including his butcher.
“I’ve got the guy at Rouses, or at freaking Whole Foods, asking me about the freaking two-point play,” Payton said, again via The Athletic. “I looked at him, the guy from the meat section. I said. ‘Hey, your steaks don’t look too good right now, worry about your freaking meat.’ Driving me crazy.”
Before we dive into what makes a raw steak not look good (is it poor marbling?), we must first examine why these Saints are being treated as if they just lost the Super Bowl. New Orleans’ meeting with San Francisco was highly anticipated because it offered the Saints a chance to prove to the rest of the league that they are indeed one of its best. The back-and-forth affair proved as much.
But whenever one loses such an eventful game, it stings a little more — especially because the Saints no longer control their playoff seeding. New Orleans will need to win out and get some external help to win the top seed, thanks to Sunday’s loss and San Francisco’s resulting ownership of a tiebreaker over New Orleans.
That, and the feeling of having wasted the franchise’s highest-scoring game since last season’s obliteration of Philadelphia, will leave the diehards upset even at 10-3. That’s why they’re second-guessing a failed two-point conversion attempt with the division already locked up. After last season’s controversial season-ending heartbreak, these Saints fans want to do everything they can to ensure they don’t have to experience that again.
They might not know it, but the Saints do too.
“It’s real simple. One, two, or three,” Payton said. “That’s what we’re playing for. The focus is on the Colts and us playing better football. We’re either going to be in one of those three spots and the focus has to be on improving and the focus has to be on playing the Colts. It is really that simple.”