Let that sink in.
As Vegas has continued to struggle to set a good line for the Saints opponents, this was definitely a game where Vegas made a chunk of their money back on all those weeks they got buried by those Saints matchups.
And if you think that score if bad enough, the Saints had a total of 8 minutes of possession in the first half AND went for it on 4th down on the goal line instead of kick a field goal, which would have meant a tie game when it was all said and done.
To start, hindsight is 20/20. So was that decision to go for it on 4th down that crazy, in the hope of swinging momentum? Not really. And if he does get it – Sean Payton is a genius.
But in general, I do think if you are an underdog, you take more of those chances and when you are heavily favored, you stick to the status quo and put points on the board. ESPECIALLY if you are making it a 1 score game in the first half! But it’s Sean Payton who can get a little cocky with aggressive play calling.
This year there have been 3 dominant teams which include the Saints, Chiefs, and Rams (in that order). And as hard as this is for me to say, I don’t think this game takes them out of that top spot in the NFC. If I were to decide which team will represent the NFC in the Super Bowl, I am still leaning towards the Saints. And I will sum up my thoughts with 2 key points.
Did the Cowboys Crack the Code? No. Any time you keep an opposing Defense on the field and keep a high powered offense off the field, you put yourself in a great spot to win the game. This is not new. And to Dallas’ credit, they had their game plan and executed it perfectly! They stopped the running threat of Ingram and the dual threat of Kamara. In the times, that the Saints Offense has really been rolling, their offense stems from first establishing this force. Last night the Saints did not.
The Saints have so many weapons and I think watching this team operate, we saw lack of change in game plan and instead were hoping for the floodgates to open. Which in turn they did not. I think this was eye opening for the Saints and an adversity they had not faced yet this season. So with them experiencing it, I fully trust that Sean Payton will get a lot out of looking at the tape from last night and avoiding this same shut down in more important games to come.
When watching last night’s game, it was not a gaping failure in the Saints scheme, it was much rather an inability to adjust after being shutdown again and again.
The Super Dome: What this game does do, is put the Saints at risk for not having home field advantage in the Super Dome. But the one team that has a shot at taking home field advantage away from them is the Rams and they struggle to fill a stadium with their own fans?! The only advantage the Rams would receive from home field advantage is not having to play in the hostile Super Dome. It will not be the joy of having to play in front of their crowd, because you don’t know what the crowd makeup will look like week to week.
Aside from the Rams, the Saints will have home field advantage whoever they play, and that is why they are the NFC team to beat.
As a Vikings Fan – that is the absolute last place I want to play, because as mortal as that Saints Defense is, it becomes much more potent when you get the crowd behind them.
In closing, this revealed more of the Cowboys than this did for the Saints. The Cowboys are now the NFC EAST favorite.