There wasn't even enough time to bask in the win against San Diego before thoughts turned to the New Orleans Saints' playoff hopes.
Can the 1-4 Saints complete the turnaround and make the playoffs?
The short answer is yes. There were some good things in that win against the Chargers.
The Saints finally found a pass rush against San Diego, and it wasn't just at the end of the game. New Orleans was able to get pressure on Chargers quarterback Phillip Rivers from the opening kickoff.
Against San Diego, the Saints had six quarterback hits, five sacks and numerous quarterback pressures. Yes, it was just one game, but the defense might be getting comfortable in Steve Spagnuolo's defensive system. Spagnuolo now knows the strengths and weaknesses of his defensive players and can scheme toward those strengths and hide the weak spots. We will find out this week against Tampa Bay if the San Diego game was for real or just an aberration.
New Orleans also finally played a full football game. The Saints had played a half (sometimes the first half and sometimes the second half), three quarters but not a full game until beating the Chargers.
That was a full 60 minutes of effort by the Saints. New Orleans played the entire game and was rewarded with a victory.
This week, the Saints get Joe Vitt back as head coach, and the team should feel even more comfortable with the coaching situation.
The bounty issue has come up again, but the players that are affected will keep playing until any matters in the courts are resolved. New Orleans must put this distraction out of their minds and focus on getting back to .500 for the first time this season.
New Orleans is getting a lot of help from their NFC counterparts. The ups and downs of the season means only seven teams currently have a winning record.
One thing that scares me is Saints leading rusher Pierre Thomas, with 182 rushing yards on the season. I think New Orleans needs to run the ball more for the rest of the season.
This week against Tampa Bay is still a must-win for NOLA, but turning this season around is possible.