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Can Sean Payton and Saints Solve Their Problems In the Final Six Games?

New Orleans Saints were embarrassed by the Buffalo Bills 31-6 on Thanksgiving in front of millions of viewers.   With six games left in the season, can they fix their problems for a postseason run?

New Orleans, LA — I was sitting in the last row of the press box, and former New Orleans Saints head coach Jim Mora was snacking on a bag of Frito's over my left shoulder as we watched the Drew Brees tribute. He slapped me on the back and walked off saying, "I like Drew."  

Fast forward to 30 minutes of game action in the second half, my  reminisced as I could hear Coach Mora's infamous rants, "playoffs, don't talk about playoffs...then I heard, we couldn't do diddly poo offensively..." 

Twenty plus years later, those press conferences gems could easily apply to what we witnessed in the New Orleans Saints' performance against the Buffalo Bills in Week 12.

The New Orleans Saints are not playing good football. 

Earlier this season, Demario Davis and Malcolm Jenkins proclaimed that the Saints' defense was the team's strength. I must say, it was a challenge to recognize their strength off of the missed tackles, blown assignments, and other miscues by the Saints defenders. Sean Payton acknowledged the Saints' defense allowed Bills quarterback Josh Allen to "get into the defense on three or four plays" for first downs. 

I lost count of the missed tackles by the New Orleans defenders on the final 23-yard touchdown by Buffalo's running back, Matt Breida. The defensive play last night was indicative of how the team has performed most of 2021.

New Orleans is fortunate to be at 5-6 and still may have a shot at the playoffs. Yes, Coach Mora, playoffs!   

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Four losses ago, the focus was to clean up mistakes and be more disciplined as a team. Still, as the losing mounts, could Coach Payton figure a way out of New Orleans' winning drought for his team?

The offensive failures on converting two-point conversations are troubling - especially late in a season. "If you're a pretty good offensive team. It's probably not a problem. And if you're not a good offensive team, which I would say that's where we're at right now, it probably is a problem in two yards. On a handful of downs, tonight was a struggle," said Payton about the New Orleans offense.

What's next?

A wounded Dallas Cowboys team visits Caesars Superdome in a week for a Thursday Night Football clash on Nov. 25. New Orleans doesn't have room for error following the Cowboys with contests against the Jets, Buccaneers, Dolphins, Panthers, and Falcons. Losing to NFC teams would further exasperate any postseason hopes for the Saints.

The Saints have six winnable games ahead to turn the ship around 2021 and avoid a losing season.

Can it be done?

We shall see.