The New Orleans Saints were 10 seconds away from advancing to the NFC championship. Then Stefon Diggs, came up huge with a huge touchdown reception. The Saints could not believe their eyes. Drew Brees was let down AGAIN.
Before this implosion, The Saints were down 17-0 going into the half, Drew Brees was being stifled by the highly ranked Vikings defense. Coming out the half, Drew Brees finally got it going towards the end of the 3rd quarter and threw a strike to Michael Thomas. The Saints battled back and ended up claiming the lead 21-20 after Alvin Kamara hauled in an impressive catch. The Vikings hit another field goal to reclaim the lead at 23-21. However, Drew Brees and Co. rallied and converted on gutsy play calls play after play. But after converting on 4th down in Vikings territory, the game looked to be all but over if Will Lutz could drill a 40-yard field goal. The snap was perfect. The hold was perfect. Lutz split the uprights. Sean Payton took off his headset. All the Saints had to do was tackle the Vikings in bounds and the game was virtually over. Well, the Saints failed to do that. The Saints were stunned.
The greatness of Drew Brees has always been overshadowed by the popularity and prolific prowess Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and Peyton Manning play with. The window is winding down, the Saints have one goal in mind currently. Win one more super bowl with Drew Brees. The current Saints roster has super bowl potential. The Saints have always been an offensive juggernaut since Sean Payton took over, but the difference from all of those other years is the defense behind the offense. In 2016, the Saints ranked 32nd in the NFL in total defense and only forced 19 turnovers. However, in 2017, the Saints improved their team defense and ranked 15th in total defense and forced 28 turnovers. This improvement can be largely attributed to GM Mickey Loomis’s moves and defensive coordinator Dennis Allen’s play calling. GM Mickey Loomis has made big time moves that have put the Saints in a position to compete for a championship. Loomis has drafted Sheldon Rankins, moved up to draft Michael Thomas who has developed into a Pro Bowl wide receiver. Traded Brandin Cooks, Jimmy Graham and others. Signed Ted Ginn, Alex Okafor, and Larry Warford. However, the biggest move Loomis has been attributed to making is the 2017 Saints draft class. Loomis selected Marshon Lattimore, Ryan Ramczyk, Marcus Williams, Alvin Kamara, and Trey Hendrickson. All of these players started regularly for the Saints and 4 of the 5 were selected to the All-Rookie team. Lattimore and Kamara both won ROY on their respective sides of the ball and both were selected to the pro bowl. Marcus Williams who infamously is known for a missed tackle finished with a 89.5 rating on pro football focus, which ranks 6th at his position and the highest amongst rookies. However this is not all, Loomis then continued his prolific decisions by signing top free agent linebacker DeMario Davis, and the best performing slot corner in the NFL in 2017, Patrick Robinson. In my opinion the Saints have an overabundance of youth and will be a force to be reckon with in the coming years. Ultimately I think the New Orleans Saints finally have the defense they need behind them to compete for a championship. With the highest scoring offense in the NFL the past two years, the Saints are more than ready to go out and win a championship.