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Saints' Zach Strief: 'Right now, we're a bad team'

The New Orleans Saints aren't sugarcoating their putrid start to the season.

"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'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.

Three weeks of Cowboys game footage should have made it clear to New Orleans that Dallas would hammer away with DeMarco Murray out of the backfield. The Saints, though, could do nothing to slow down this season's best runner as he galloped for 149 yards and two scores.

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.

*The latest Around The NFL Podcast recaps every game from Week 4 and picks the best player in the NFL. *

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