Even though the New Orleans Saints are a disappointing 1-4 coming out of their bye week, they are a very confident team that doesn't think they're out of the playoff picture. Their optimism stems from the fact that all four of their losses have been eight points or fewer, and their impressive Week 5 comeback win over the San Diego Chargers indicated that they may be close to turning things around.
The Saints' bye came at a perfect time as they prepare for Tampa Bay on Sunday. They have had a chance this week to "self-scout" and evaluate where improvements need to be made. But do they have enough time to turn around their season and make the playoffs?
Let's look at three areas that need to be improved for them to have a chance:
Better balance on offense
After a sluggish start, Drew Brees is back on track with his passing game, his receivers are getting healthy and there is no doubt that the Saints can put up points and be the prolific throwing offense that we have seen in recent years. However, looking at the film, the Saints have become far too one-dimensional, their play-calling hasn't been as creative as it was with Sean Payton as the active coach and the run game has become almost an afterthought. This has always been a pass-first offense -- but with a strong commitment to the run game -- and that is just not happening right now.