Late Field Goal saves New Orleans Saints

The defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints came into this NFL regular season with high hopes of being able to do what many teams can’t in repeating as Super Bowl champs, but even though they were able to get past Brett Favre and the Minnesota Vikings in Week 1, Drew Brees and company have struggled over the past three weeks against the San Francisco 49ers, Atlanta Falcons and the Carolina Panthers.

It is no secret that opposing teams, no matter how bad they appear to be, always seem to give the defending Super Bowl champions their best shot, but the Saints were thought to get through the first four weeks of the season with relative ease.

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That hasn’t been the case as the defending champs haven’t been able to beat even one of their opponents by more than five points in the first four weeks of the season. Everyone knew that the NFC Conference championship rematch would be challenge as the Minnesota Vikings were a tough team on both sides of the football, but things seemed to get progressively worse with every passing week as the New Orleans Saints just haven’t looked like the team that dominated the competition last season.

In Week 3, the New Orleans Saints were given a wakeup call as the division rival Atlanta Falcons handed them their first loss of the season in overtime where Saints kicker Garrett Hartley failed to convert what was considered to be a chip shot.

Fortunately, the Saints learned from their mistake and replaced Garrett Hartley with veteran kicker John Carney in Week 4, but even though Carney was lights out against the Carolina Panthers by going three for three, the defending champs needed a game-winning field goal from the veteran kicker in order to get the win over one of the worst teams in the league 16-14.

There is no question that the New Orleans Saints are still a very talented team and will almost certainly be playoff bound once again, but they will definitely need to turn things around in order to be the Super Bowl title contending team that that are aspiring to be.

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Over the next three weeks, Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints will have a relatively easy schedule ahead of them as they will face off against the Arizona Cardinals (2-2), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1) and the Cleveland Browns (1-3).
During this time head coach Sean Payton will be trying to get his championship caliber team back to form on both sides of the football, but if they struggle against this three teams, it could turn out to be a long season for the defending Super Bowl champs as they try to pull off the repeat.

Ultimately, I believe the New Orleans Saints will be able to get back on track as they just have too many talented players for them to fail. Whether or not they can get back to the Super Bowl remains to be seen, but they should continue to be force to be reckoned with in the NFC Conference.

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