"We have to be realistic right now with ourselves. Right now, we're not a very good football team," offensive tackle Zach Strief said after Sunday night's 38-17 debacle in Dallas, per ESPN.com's Mike Triplett. "You're glad it's the fourth game of the year, and it's not just decided -- it's the 15th (game), and you were a bad team. But, right now, we're a bad team."
At a surprising 1-3, this squad's most glaring weaknesses reside on defense, where Rob Ryan's charges have failed to generate a pass rush or control the trenches. They've allowed 25-plus points in each of their three road games this season, and Sunday night was more of the same, with the Saints overwhelmed by a rebuilt and beastly Dallas offensive line.
With just one takeaway in four games, Ryan's defense has done little to help an offense bereft of the big-play ability we considered a foregone conclusion before the season. Instead, Drew Brees falls to 1-8 in his last nine road games while the Saints are a suspect 8-8 over their last 16 regular-season outings.
They'll be fortunate to equal that mark in 2014.