NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - I can't take credit for the phrase but it was too perfect.
As Jim Henderson and I gathered for our normal post-game wrap-up Sunday, he simply said 'the curse of .500.'
Basically, it's become commonplace that after a 1-3 or worse start to a season, the Saints will battle back to .500 but are never able to break through that glass ceiling to have a winning record.
No matter how hard they try or how close they come, it just doesn't work out. And usually, it's a bizarre play that prevents it from happening.
In 2014, it was the fourth and long conversion by San Francisco. In 2015, it was the crazy fourth down near interception that was tipped into a touchdown by the Titans.
This year, it was even more surreal. Instead of kicking the go-ahead extra point after a remarkable Drew Brees- Brandin Cooks touchdown connection, Wil Lutz's attempt was blocked by a flying Justin Simmons and returned for two points by Will Parks.
The final result was a 25-23 loss, instead a 24-23 Saints' lead.
That makes the missed extra point by John Carney in the River City Relay feel normal.
"I'm still in disbelief," Brees said after the game.
Brees was certainly not alone in those sentiments. A whole stadium and locker room remained in a 'what in world just happened' kind of fog after the game.
Don't misunderstand. The Saints are not worthy of a lot sympathy for the outcome of their fifth loss of the season.
While there were questionable actions on the game-sealing play, like a possible penalty by the defensive tackle who appeared to push Justin Drescher down to allow Simmons to jump or Parks possibly running out of the bounds, the Saints truly lost this game by their own doing.
They lost the turnover battle. They were crushed on third down. The Broncos nearly doubled the Saints in time of possession and ran over thirty more plays than the black and gold. Those are much bigger culprits than a possible bad call at the end of the game.
But still, a game-winning blocked extra point returned for two points?
I mean, really!?!
A game may never truly end that way in the NFL again. Ever.
What will happen is the Saints getting back to the drawing board to see if they can even get in a position to get over .500 at any point this season again.
Sunday made 1,046 days until the last time they held a winning record during the regular season.
They'll have to overcome history to stop that streak. And possibly even overcome 'the curse of the .500.'