Despite having one of the most talented rosters in the league Saints have struggled in the playoffs over the last couple of years. A lot of people believe that the three most recent playoff loses were because of bad luck which I believe was a factor in some of these there losses, but I don’t think luck was the main reason for any of these losses.
Allow me to set the scene, it’s the divisional round of the 2018 season, the score is 24 Saints 23 Vikings, there’s ten seconds left Case Keenum takes the snap out of shotgun. he takes a 5 step drop and throws the ball around 30 yards to wide receiver Stefon Diggs. Stefon Diggs jumps up in the air and catches the ball over safety, Marcus Williams. Marcus Williams used poor tackling technique that allowed Stefon Diggs to catch it over him with ease. Marcus Williams also hit Ken Crawley who was in perfect position to tackle Stefon Diggs. After he caught the ball he ran into the endzone and won the Vikings the game. Throughout the 2017 season Marcus Williams constantly attempted to tackle people below their hips much like he tried to on this play. I believe that Stefon Diggs and Case Keenum were both aware of this and that is why Case Keenum placed the ball so high. This isn’t bad luck, this is a great team exploiting a good team’s weakness.
Fast forward a year, the Saints made it to the NFC championship against the Rams. It was tie game with 1:49 left in the 4th quarter and the Saints were in the redzone. It was 3rd and 10 and Drew Brees passed the ball to Tommylee Lewis and Nickell Robby-Coleman made clear contact before Lewis even touched the ball. This should’ve been pass interference but the refs didn’t call it. If the refs called the pass interference the Saints would’ve won and they would’ve played in the super bowl. But in all honesty this call made the game fair considering they missed a blatant face mask call that would’ve won the Rams the game. I’m not defending the refs I’m just saying if the refs made good calls then the Rams still would’ve won the game. The Saints were also lucky that Nickell Robby-Coleman didn’t intercept the poorly thrown ball.
Now I’m going to talk about the Saints’ most recent playoff loss against the Vikings. A lot of people believe that it was the refs’ fault because Kyle Rudolph pushed off in order to win the Vikings the game in over time. I still think this one is the Saints’ fault because the game shouldn’t have went into overtime. Drew Brees threw a interception before halftime and the Vikings took advantage and got a touchdown making the score 13-10 (Vikings’ lead) going into halftime. Later in the game the Saints allowed Taysom Hill to lead the offense for a couple plays. When they put Drew Brees back in he fumbled and the Vikings got the ball. Keep in mind the Saints had a really good drive going until Drew Brees fumbled. Luckily the defense was able to clean up after Drew Brees and prevent the Vikings from scoring. When a game is as close as this one was your quarterback cannot be turning the ball over that much, especially in the playoffs.
In conclusion the Saints aren’t “unlucky” they just struggle in the playoffs. I’m hoping Drew Brees will get to play in another super bowl before he retires but if the team continues this pattern of being a great team in the regular season just to collapse in the playoffs I doubt he ever will.
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