Time for action

Hey Roger Goodell, do ​SOMETHING about this Saints mess​

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Whenever a baseball team loses a game it should have won early in the season you always hear someone say "A game in May is just as important as a game in September." This axiom is blatantly false. You have plenty of time to make up for a loss in May. In September when there aren't nearly as many games left on the schedule, it's much more difficult to overcome that loss.

If Cody Parkey had missed a field goal in the first quarter of the Bears playoff game against the Eagles no one would have remembered it. Since he missed the game winner as time expired he will live in eternal infamy in Chicago.

Same goes for that no-call in the Rams-Saints game. With just a minute left in the game, the Saints would have gotten four more downs. The Rams had timeouts but the odds of overcoming that deficit with seconds left would have been overwhelming. It was a much bigger call than any earlier in the game.

Afterwards I heard a bunch of people saying "Well if they're going to go back to that blown call why don't they go back to the face mask penalty that wasn't called on the Saints, or the delay of game in the second quarter? Those were blown calls too that affected the outcome."

They did affect the score but not the outcome. With just a minute left, that one call had a direct effect on the final score. There was time to overcome every other call or no-call in that game.

Now the question is what will the NFL do about it? Saints fans want justice. A New Orleans lawyer has filed a lawsuit ordering Commissioner Roger Goodell to put both teams back on the field and replay the final minute of the game. It won't happen but it's the kind of pressure that might make the league actually do something other than give us lip service about the state of its officiating.

It's at an all-time low. The best refs are the ones who go unseen. NFL refs are in the crosshairs of fans week in and week out.

You would think replay would have helped the situation but it's only made it worse. The simplest calls are paralyzing because they know they have the crutch of going back and sorting it out with replay. It's maddening. And don't get me started with how long and agonizing the process is. After two replays an entire television audience knows how they are going to rule on it, yet it takes forever to get the game restarted. It's not that hard guys. Figure out a better way.

And if we need penalties replayed then so be it. I hear so many people against it but I heard the same thing about replay in the first place. If your only problem with it is that it's never been done before then that's a pretty weak argument. That's how progress has always been thwarted.

Like I said, the most important plays, hits, baskets, scores and referee calls are the ones late in the game. So make those the priority. If we need a replay on a referee's call or no-call in the last two minutes of a game then let's get one. Don't let one bad call decide that a team is or isn't going to the Super Bowl when we have the ability to get it right. It will lend more credibility to your sport. There are conspiracy theorists out there that believe that the league wanted Los Angeles and not New Orleans in that game. All they did was give them ammunition.

Start with pass interference and if they see the need to add other penalties then they can but not doing anything, Roger Goodell, would be another horrific no-call.

Saints 34, Bucs 17

Saints vs. Bucs 2: Good, bad and ugly

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The Saints got back in the win column by dominating a lesser talented division rival this week. Here's what I thought of the Saints' move to 8-2:

The Good

-Michael Thomas and Drew Brees are perhaps the most prolific quarterback-wide receiver duo in the league. Brees was 28/35 for 228 yards and three touchdowns, while Thomas had eight catches for 114 yards and a touchdown. Thomas is still leading the league in receptions and yards, despite Brees missing a chunk of the season.

-The defense came up big depite giving up over 300 yards. They had two sacks, four interceptions (one returned for a touchdown), and limited the Bucs to only 36 yards rushing. After last week's performance against the Falcons, it was important for the defense to step up.

-Sean Payton made a concerted effort to get Alvin Kamara the ball. Whether it was rushing, receiving, or on returns, Kamara was heavily involved in the gameplan. 26 total touches for 155 yards altogether.

The Bad

-Giving up 313 yards passing to Jameis Winston and the Bucs was terrible. Sure Marson Lattimore was out this game, but this defense has too much talent to give up that many yards through the air.

-Speaking of giving up passing yards, Cameron Brate had 10 catches for 73 yards. Tight ends haven't really been a problem for the Saints, but it was today. Moving forward, they need to do better about giving up the easy stuff underneath, especially to tight ends.

-The longest run recorded was a 14-yarder by Kamara. The team only totaled 109 yards on the ground, which is uncharacteristic of them since they committed to the run more a few years ago. They are used to averaging upwards of 130 yards a game on the ground.

The Ugly

-I think it may be time to invest high picks on linebackers. The current linebackers on the roster are pretty good, but the only real playmaker is Demario Davis, who's already 30. Where's the young playmakers at linebacker? There are none. Hopefully Alex Anzalone can turn into something.

-As I mentioned earlier, Marshon Lattimore missed this game. Some of the guys that filled in lately, such as CJ Gardner-Johnson, have done an okay job at best. There's no replacing one of the better young cover corners in the game. Gardner-Johnson had a couple rookie mistakes, but looks like he'll be a player, just not yet.

-Speaking of young guys needing to step up, I sure hope Marcus Davenport removes himself from the back of the milk carton soon! When a team gives up the type of draft capital the Saints did to draft you, you have to produce. Far too often Davenport has been a no show in the stat column and on film. Two first round picks and a mid rounder were used to get him and he's so far playing like a fourth rounder.

Last week, the Saints were outplayed by a then 1-7 division rival. This week, they decided to dominate a 2-7 division rival. Brees and the gang returned to form against the Bucs and have a firm grip on the NFC South thanks to the Falcons dismantling of the Panthers, who the Saints play next week. If they win next week, they can wrap up the division crown and start taking aim at a first round bye in the playoffs. Here's to consistency and health down the stretch.

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