Sean Payton has an obese mess on his hands, and if he doesn’t do something about it, he will show he clearly has lost his edge.

Payton should fire Rob Ryan immediately.

Ryan’s defense last year was the worst in the history of the NFL. Statistically and otherwise. This year’s defense is just as bad.

After it game up 49 points last week (okay, 42: the other Giants TD was on an interception return), there is no excuse for this defense not to have guns blazing this week to atone for its pathetic performance (which came on top of about six other pathetic performances in seven prior games). Instead, Ryan’s defense laid a great big pterodactyl egg, which scrambled and ran into a smelly mess as soon as it hit the ground.

Playing against the 2nd worst offense in the NFL, the Saints gave up well over 400 yards. And it was even worse than that looks in print.

This was a 1-7 team that had just fired its head coach; that featured a rookie quarterback coming off of a multi-game injury hiatus; that was averaging a league-worst 4 sacks given up per game; that was missing its top receiver; and that entered the game with an offensive line completely undermined by injuries.

Yet the Saints managed not a single sack against a line that was already bad and now was injury riddled, not a single sack (much less noticeable pressure) against the rookie quarterback, and could not stop the Titans no matter what they did. The pressure was non-existent, the tackling pitiful, the hustle and heart (aside from Mike Mauti and Stephone Anthony) utterly lacking, and the proneness to penalties devastating.

There is no excuse for a professional football team to have a defense even within sniffing distance of being as bad as the Saints were today — and last week, and most of the weeks this season.

And yes, the Saints had a badly injured linebacking corps of its own. Well, so what? Against that particular Titans team, it should not have made much of a difference.

Payton should, must, fire Rob Ryan. It is the only way remaining for him to send a signal to his team that embarrassing ineptness and humiliating lethargy are unacceptable. It is the only way to shake some urgency into the team. And it is the only chance the Saints have to right a ship with water pouring over the gunwales.

Dennis Allen waits in the wings. Give him a chance to find a spark and to give his squad a clue. Dump Rob Ryan, now.

Oh…. and while Payton is at it, he might want to just cut Brandon Browner. Be done with him. If week after week after week he keeps getting burned and/or heavily penalized at key times, he clearly refuses to learn.

And if he is going to have post-game tantrums in the locker room, he is a bad influence.

Dump him. Save his salary.

Look at it this way: The Saints defense cannot possibly get worse. And it certainly hasn’t gotten any better with Browner in there.

So let Lewis and Breaux be the corners, and let Wilson and Dixon play the slots. They can’t possibly do any worse than Browner is doing.

Meanwhile, they should bring back Pierre Warren as an extra DB. The man has a nose for the ball. He creates turnovers. He might be a little on the boom-or-bust side, but we’re already busted, so we may as well get some boom to go with it.

……

Believe it or not, the Saints still have a chance at the playoffs — a realistic chance. Why? Because their offense is at least intermittently good enough to give them a chance in every single game, and because they face the easiest remaining schedule in the league. There’s no reason the Saints can’t win, say, six of their remaining seven — if, that is, they cut the fat off their sideline, and replace it with Dennis Allen.

 

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