New Orleans Saints Need to Fight for the NFC South Title

It’s extremely hard to win a football game when your defense is on the field for 41 minutes and 92 snaps. But remarkably, with Drew Brees admittedly not 100 percent and an offense missing top target Michael Thomas and only converting 1 of 11 on third down, the New Orleans Saints came pretty close.

But close doesn’t cut it against Patrick Mahomes and the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs. Despite the Saints defense playing championship caliber – forcing a season-high six Chiefs punts, sacking Mahomes four times and forcing a fumble that led to a quick touchdown – the Saints only led for 4 minutes and 53 seconds in the third quarter and eventually lost, 32-29.

Ultimately, the Saints defense rose to the occasion against Mahomes’ magic, but missed opportunities doomed the Saints’ hopes for an upset.  They committed 10 penalties, including one that resulted in Cam Jordan’s ejection, Brees threw an early interception during his 0-for-6 start that led to a Chiefs touchdown,  - and there was the ultimate blown opportunity when the Saints (ahem, Alex Anzalone, pictured) couldn’t recover Demarcus Robinson’s fumble in the end zone, resulting in a safety instead of a game-tying touchdown to close the first half.Ultimately, the Saints defense rose to the occasion against Mahomes’ magic, but missed opportunities doomed the Saints’ hopes for an upset. They committed 10 penalties, including one that resulted in Cam Jordan’s ejection, Brees threw an early interception during his 0-for-6 start that led to a Chiefs touchdown,

and there was the ultimate blown opportunity when the Saints (ahem, Alex Anzalone, pictured) couldn’t recover Demarcus Robinson’s fumble in the end zone, resulting in a safety instead of a game-tying touchdown to close the first half.

What Does It Mean?

This loss is painful to swallow when the 10-4 Saints realize they still have work to do now on a two-game skid, and on a short week with the NFC South title still yet to be clinched. (The Falcons blew yet another second-half lead Sunday to Tom Brady and the Bucs, so Tampa Bay is right there at 9-5). So sure, it would have been nice to lock up the title with an upset over the Chiefs, but at this point the Saints just have to get it done.

New Orleans has two more NFC games left, starting on Christmas Day hosting the Minnesota Vikings, who must win out and get help to make the postseason. If the Saints want to remain the No. 2 seed behind Green Bay, their final two games are virtual must-wins. See the playoff picture.

It’s time for the Saints to take care of business and fight for what they want – as a team. Maybe the Saints will get another chance at the Chiefs at full strength in Super Bowl LV. But first priority is a fourth straight NFC South title.

Now doesn’t that sound like a great Christmas gift for New Orleans?