Week 16: Atlanta @ New Orleans: A funeral with music

I was a big fan of David Simon’s Treme, which aired on HBO for four seasons and followed the lives of New Orleans residents after the devastating Hurricane Katrina. The series had its flaws – it was no Sopranos or The Wire – but it had strong characters and the music was superb.

One of my favorite parts of Treme involved the “second line,” the dancers and singers who attached themselves to the parades and in some cases, funeral processions. These so-called “jazz funerals,” which start somber and finish somewhat upbeat are an integral part of life in New Orleans.

After Sunday’s 30-14 loss to the Falcons in the Superdome, I suggest Saints’ fans spend a few minutes mourning, then grab an umbrella and start dancing madly as the “body is cut loose” and this year’s season is consigned to the dirt.

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, laissez les bon temps rouler.

The battle for the NFC South has been a not-so-beautiful mess all year, with the title decider coming down to next week’s clash between 6-9 Atlanta and 6-8-1 Carolina. One of those teams will host a game against a team that will have at least 11 wins.

New Orleans will be on the outside looking in, after last week’s win over Chicago was proven to be just that: a win over Chicago. It was simply a Band Aid on a bullet wound; the Bears phoned it in and the Saints took advantage.

What we saw in Week 16 were the dysfunctional 2014 Saints, a once-proud home team losing its fifth straight in front of the local fans. Sure there was a controversial moment – Jimmy Graham’s disallowed touchdown – but that wasn’t the story of the game.

Read and weep Saints’ fans:

(1) New Orleans had four turnovers, including three in the fourth quarter.
(2) Drew Brees threw two interceptions and was sacked five times.
(3) The defense allowed Matt Ryan to complete 30 of 40 passes and throw for 322 yards.
(4) The Saints’ only touchdown came on a 1-yard run after a 99-yard return of the opening kickoff.

The game ended on a fitting note for this bumbling bunch of Saints: Atlanta defensive tackle Osi Umenyiora rambling 86 yards with a Brees’ fumble and waving goodbye not just to the New Orleans players but to the Saints’ season.

Yep, get your dancing shoes on and join the second line. It’s time for a funeral with music. Just don’t sing “When The Saints Go Marching In.” Because they won’t be.

Dec 21
Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans LA (73,164)

Atlanta 3 10 7 10 – 30
New Orleans 7 0 0 7 – 14

Passing: Matt Ryan (ATL), 322 yds, 1 TD
Rushing: Mark Ingram (NO), 13 car, 38 yds, 1 TD
Receiving: Julio Jones (ATL), 7 rec, 107 yds
Pigskin Almanac “The Iceman Cometh” award: Matt Ryan (ATL)

About Ed Wyatt

Ed Wyatt grew up in Halfway, Maryland, following the Baltimore Colts like his football coach father. When he lost his Bert Jones #7 jersey at the Lincolnshire Elementary School playground, he should have taken it as an omen, since the Colts left Baltimore for Indianapolis. Ed has managed to avoid full time work by talking on the radio, smiling on the television and tapping on the keyboard of his computer. He won a number of local Emmy awards with the Seattle-based comedy show Almost Live! and hosted the Super Bowl live on Australian television for nine years. He is a graduate of Stanford University.

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