Although most NFL fans have been looking to hand the accolades to the Seahawks after their shock playoff win against the Saints at the weekend, with Seattle winning their clash against all the odds, some more shrewd fans have been picking apart the wreckage of the Saints' season, which looked so promising for so long.
Saints fans might arguably take comfort in the fact that their season was a positive one, which can't always be said of teams following up a Super Bowl win, with the subsequent campaign often a disappointing one. However, the fact remains that this makes their defeat at the hands of the Seahawks all the more ridiculous. Let's face it, in many quarters of the NFL world, the Saints have rendered themselves nothing more than a cruel joke, and that they will remain for some time to come and those who had bet on NFL glory coming their way won't be swift to forgive them.
The Saints ended the regular season with an 11-5 record and were fresh off the back of a confidence-boosting win over Atlanta late on in the season. With all the right noises coming out of the Saints camp and with a playoff clash against a Seahawks side themselves familiar with the label of NFL joke team, all the signs seemed good for a post season run that would provide Saints fans with reason to cheer and the NFL betting reflected this.
The Saints players weren't quick to come out with excuses once the action was over. After all, there aren't many excuses good enough to justify such a result, and the players knew that. What matters now is looking back once the dust has settled and using their longer than expected break to rectify the problems that ruined the team's chances of playoff success. One thing's for sure, it could take a very long time for that process to be completed.