Dig Baton Rouge

Bizarro World Continues for Saints

By Casey Gisclair

Okay, okay, I give up. I don’t have any shame at all in saying that I have absolutely no clue when the Saints will win, nor when they will lose.

Their successes and failures are a complete, utter crapshoot to me, so I will not dedicate this column talking about something that I obviously know nothing about.

So I will instead have a little bit of fun and talk about the bizarre world that has been the 2014-15 NFL season for the New Orleans Saints.

At 3:15 p.m. on Sunday afternoon, I logged onto Twitter to do a little bit of window-shopping. My goal was to share my thoughts on the game, while also checking out the trending topics around the team.

So here’s what I saw:

Exhibit A: New Orleans fans are absolutely fascinated by the dynamic that is Sean Payton the head coach and Rob Ryan the defensive coordinator. You guys eat it up. And rightfully so. It’s good TV. Who doesn’t like seeing a clean cut, successful football coach yell and bicker at a fat, long-haired subordinate that has a mouth your conservative aunt would love to wash out with soap?

Some of my followers poked fun about their disagreements when things weren’t going well – namely Payton snapping at Ryan for a penalty on the defense for having 12 men on the field. Others talked about their bromance later in the game when the Saints challenged a fourth down play and got back the football.

But no matter what end of the spectrum peaks your attention, there’s no doubting that your attention is indeed piqued.

In NFL Week 13, the Saints broke Twitter – not with anything that happened inside the white lines of the gridiron, but rather for the carnival act that is Sean Payton and Rob Ryan.

The New Orleans head coach said after the game that he and the big fella’ get along great, refuting a report earlier in the day that said their relationship was deteriorating.

But he then added that he “guarantees” he and Ryan will have more spats in the future. We’re sure that will make all of the clever Twitter users around the world giddy with excitement.

But away from that whole dynamic of Sunday’s win, let’s poke fun at a couple other things going on around this team.

OK, let’s start with the low-hanging fruit. Exhibit B: The Saints are a woeful 5-7 and they still are in first place in the NFC South. There’s been a ton of talk about that one in the past few weeks. It is what it is. New Orleans’ season seems to be heading toward a winner-take all meeting with the Falcons in the Dome – unless of course the team that wins that game chokes in Week 17 and falls out of first place again. With the way this year has gone, the safe money is on chaos in the highest form, which brings us to our next point we’d like to touch on.

Exhibit C: The Saints have now won two-straight games on the road, while losing three-straight in the Dome.

This one is a little bit harder to explain, and it’s pretty much why I’ve given up in my quest to break down the ins and outs of the Saints.

New Orleans used to win every home game – most of the time by 20-plus points. They used to need those wins because of an inept road record that has plagued the team in recent years.

But in the past month, the team has been world-beaters on the road and awful in the Dome.

That makes no sense, but that’s why it’s so perfect.

So to recap Week 13’s action, here’s what I got: You guys absolutely love watching Sean Payton and Rob Ryan fight. The Saints don’t win many games, but they don’t need to, because they are still in first place. And the Dome is now suddenly the place where the suddenly road-dominant Saints struggle the most.

What out of that last statement made any sense?

The answer is none of it. I give up. Never will I attempt to label this team again.

I’m tired of being proven wrong.

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