Jeff Duncan: Saints are who we thought they were

Jeff Duncan: Saints are who we thought they were
Saints defensive end Cam Jordan celebrates with teammate Demario Davis after sacking Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston (Source: Edwin Goode, WVUE-FOX8)

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - It turns out the reports of the Saints’ demise were greatly exaggerated.

We learned a lot in the Saints’ domination of the Bucs on Sunday. Mostly, we learned that that ugly loss to the Falcons wasn’t the signal of a downturn or the start of some ugly trend. Rather, it was a fluke … Simply a bad day at the office … an outlier in what is becoming a special season.

Jeff Duncan: Saints are who we thought they were

We learned that the Saints are, to borrow a famous Denny Green line, who we thought they were.

They’re one of the best teams in the NFL and certainly not those impostors that showed up two Sundays ago against Atlanta.

The Saints took care of business in Tampa and never allowed the Bucs to entertain thoughts of an upset. They led from start to finish and dominated on both sides of the ball.

What I liked best from the performance wasn’t the season-high four interceptions or their offensive balance and efficiency. What I liked was how the Saints reacted afterward. They weren’t satisfied. They didn’t let the win obscure their at-times spotty execution on the field. They know they need to play better -- and will have to -- in order to get where they want to go this year.

Nevertheless, Sunday was a step in the right direction. Good teams rebound from bad performances, and the Saints have shown that they know how to respond to adversity. They are now 7-1 in games following a loss since the start of the 2017 season. These Saints simply don’t lose two straight.

They now have a three-game lead in the NFC South Division and can definitely open up more ground by beating the second-place Panthers on Sunday in the Superdome.

Here’s guessing – and hoping -- that we see this past Sunday’s Saints and not those Week 10 impostors from here on out.

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