Jim Henderson's Commentary: Lions defeat Saints in the Dome

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - It was a toss-up yesterday. What was the most surprising development around the NFL?

Colin Kaepernick gets benched, having been sacked more times – five - than he had passing yards - four. Jeff Fisher gets a contract extension as he closes in on being the losing-est coach in NFL history, and his Rams close within one more loss of a tenth straight losing season. Cam newton doesn't play, for a tie. And the Browns don't lose.

Unfortunately for Saints fans, there was nothing surprising about our team's record through the dirty dozen games that mark the three-quarter pole of another lackluster season. Over the last three years through 12 games, the Saints have been five and seven, four and eight, and five and seven.

Gone are the days when the Saints were nearly invincible at home.  Over the past three years, the Saints are 10 and 13 there. Gone are the days when the Saints could stand toe-to-toe with the best in the NFL. The five teams the Saints have beaten this season are a combined 22 - 37 - and one. The only winning team they've beaten has been Seattle, thanks to a damaged Russell Wilson and some fortuitous officiating.

Absent recently have been the fast-starting Saints. Yesterday was the fourth time they've been scoreless in the first quarter, and the third time they've lost when they were.

The Saints have four games left to change the perception of them that their record reflects: that of a middle-of-the-pack team - if that - a team that can play with the quality opponents on their schedule but not defeat them, and one whose homefield advantage is based on the memory of yesteryear and not the reality of yesterday.

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