The New Orleans Saints lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 26-19 on Sunday afternoon.  And, Saints fans weren’t happy.

And, amazingly, much of the conversation after the game on social media was focused on the Saints needing to fire Rob Ryan as defensive coordinator.

Say what?

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.  Ryan has been the scapegoat for everything wrong with the Saints for the last eighteen games now.

This is not to say some of the criticism hasn’t been justified.  The Saints, after finishing fourth in total defense in Ryan’s first season, were near the bottom of the league a year ago.  And, fans being fans, it’s been interesting to see how the Black and Gold faithful have gone from laughing at the Cowboys for letting Ryan go, to screaming about that so and so from Dallas.

But I had to shake my head yesterday after reading someone’s “analysis” that Ryan had to be fired after yesterday’s performance.  I just chalked it up to drinking while cooking.

Then I read it from someone else.  And reality set in.

Someone has to be the scapegoat for the Saints performance.  And, goodness knows they aren’t going to blame the quarterback.  Or Sean Payton.  After all, they won a Super Bowl.

Well, here’s a reality check for you.

You can blame Ryan for Sunday’s loss if you’d like.  But your ignorance would show.  Because, truth be told, Ryan’s defense was the only thing that gave the Saints a chance to win on Sunday.

Now before I go any further, let me say the Saints are not good defensively.  And the reason for that is they don’t have many playmakers.  That’s more on Mickey Loomis and injuries than on Rob Ryan.  Regardless of the reason, they are not good.  And, probably won’t be.

But they were good enough on Sunday.

The Buccaneers got two touchdowns on Sunday.  One was at the end of the first half on a drive kept alive on a bogus penalty on Kenny Vaccaro.  The other came in the first possession of the second half, aided by a pass interference call, which was not bogus, on Brandon Browner, covering 40 yards.

That was it.

The Saints defense held Tampa Bay to three field goals, all after the Saints had turned the football over.  And, the Saints’ defense got two turnovers of their own, resulting in a missed field goal and a touchdown with a blocked extra point.  Then the Saints defense got a stop and New Orleans was in position to win the game.

Until the offense turned it over again.

Drew Brees hasn’t been very good.  But it hasn’t been all his fault.  The Saints did a poor job protecting the quarterback yesterday, making Brees look like a 36 year old quarterback.  The Saints’ running game has sputtered.  The receivers aren’t helping Brees much, if any.  The special teams have been anything but special.

Regardless of how the defense plays, the Saints won’t win many games scoring under 20 points.  In both losses this year, the defense has been good enough to win.  The offense and the kicking game?  Not so much.

But hey, go ahead Saints fans…blame the guy who came over from Dallas.  It’s so much easier than facing reality.