NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The rallying cry for the New York Giant offense is "Protecting the Duke". "The Duke" being the official NFL football, named that for the late Giant owner Wellington Mara, nicknamed "Duke" for being named after the Duke of Wellington.
Sunday, they didn't "protect the Duke", surrendering three fumbles while taking it away from the Saints not at all. Three takeaways, no giveaways, surrendering less than 20 points, a goal-line stand. Those elements find the Saints winning about 95 percent of the time.
But not Sunday. Not while yielding a special teams touchdown while only scoring one on offense yourself. "Doing the things that get you beat" as Sean Payton says, whether you deserve to be or not.
This is the new normal for the Saints and their fans. Noting improvement in certain areas while the only area that matters, the scoreboard, fails to. Adjusting our target from the playoffs to a winning performance in hopes that soon it will be, again.
Sunday, the Giants, big blue, made the Saints a little bluer, exacerbated by a second-straight loss. Coming as last week's did on the final play of the game, you have to say Saints fans are getting their money's worth, if not their money's mirth.
This is not the start most of us envisioned, though some of us feared. To note that this season is only 1/8th over can be said in defense of the optimistic among us, or as a note of cautionary dread for the pessimistic among us.
Each camp can support its position in a statistic you're likely to hear with increasing frequency this week: "Only 12 percent of teams that start 0-2 make the playoffs."
So, you're saying there is a chance?
Yes....yes...there is a chance.