Jim Henderson Commentary, Week Fifteen

Saturday night at the team hotel in St. Louis a large contingent of Saints' fans were celebrating the local media attention they'd received by writing a huge "who dat!" in the snow beneath the Gateway arch.

It was too dark when we departed there Monday morning to see if under cover of night they had gone back to write "what dat?" instead.

What the heck was dat yesterday?

A warming trend in St. Louis this week will obliterate the efforts of the Saints fans. Not as easily erased will be the memory nor the consequences of the Saints meltdown Sunday.

Beaten in every way by a team whose quarterback -- Kellen Clemens -- was cut from his previous team -- the Houston Texans -- back in 2011 so they could replace him with the fossilized Jeff Garcia who was 40 at the time.  Sunday Clemens was unsacked, unintercepted, and largely unhurried one week after being sacked four times, hit seven, intercepted for a touchdown, and taken down for a safety.

But it's not like his was the only effort that contributed to the Rams' victory nor the failure of the Saints' defense the only culprit that contributed to the Saints' defeat.

This loss was reminiscent of the second loss of the season at New York to the Jets, the second of what's now four road losses. But at least you could partially blame the elements for that one. The Patriots in Foxboro in October...the Seahawks any time in Seattle. Tough places to win.

The Rams doomed to another non-winning season in the mausoleum known as the Edward Jones Dome in December.


What is most serious is the Saints' inability to win on the road and the necessity to change that this Sunday....or else.

The usual formula to reach the postseason with the odds being good that you will be the first or second seed is this: win all your games at home and split on the road.

The Saints are currently one of four division leaders that is unbeaten at home.

Win next week at Carolina and you will get that split on the road this season and be the number two seed in the conference. Lose and a perfect home record with a win over the Bucs here on December 29th would probably relegate you to the fifth or sixth seed and the visiting team most likely throughout the playoffs as long as they would last.

No one knows more so than the Saints how important being home for the holidays would be.

As he departed the locker room yesterday with a bag of ice on his right hand with Christmas approaching, Drew Brees was a Saint nicked. You can bet the Panthers aren't putting out any milk and cookies for his visit this Sunday.

Win and stay home. Lose and quite likely go home from the playoffs far earlier than anyone around here wants.

As simple as that.