New Orleans enters the game 5-8 riding a two-game losing and lost four of their last 5 games. Tampa Bay’s 16-11 win was the second straight game in which QB Drew Brees threw zero touchdowns and was picked off three times. Zero TDs and six picks in two games combined is not a good thing and it’s had fans and several in the media wondering about the future of the quarterback.

Arizona’s season has also been a disappointment a season after reaching the NFC Championship game and falling short of the Super Bowl expectations from its fan base. 5-8-1 in the middle of December is not how anyone saw this campaign going.

The Saints and Cardinals series history is dead even with each team winning 11 games and losing 11 games. There was one tie in the series that took place in the series first meeting, a 20-20 tie on November 24, 1968.  The 13 contests have been decided by 8 points or less. The Saints are 9-3 against Arizona at home in Crescent City.

This will be the 29th time these two teams will be playing with the Saints trailing all-time series 13-15. A season ago they played in the season opener with the Saints falling at Arizona 31-19 and the Saints have yet to win at University of Phoenix Stadium.

New Orleans as of Friday is a 2.5-point underdog.

STORYLINES

The playoffs are gone. A 16-11 loss at Tampa Bay a week ago pretty much made that happen and it for sure assured the Saints of not finishing with a winning record for the third straight season and fourth of the last five years.

Normally the time for reflection and deliberation as to what went wrong takes place once the season comes to a close. The problem is the Saints aren’t losing this season because of an issue or two, or an injury or two, or a play or two that didn’t go your way. True, those things did happen and it did affect the team’s chances at winning but it’s how the team was unable to handle those things that are the bigger issue.

Poor drafts and unsuccessful attempts at adding to the roster via free agency have created a roster and pool of talent that is not very deep. Only 14 players currently on the roster have played in a winning season.

A good majority of Saints fans want the Saints to “tank” the final three games and improve the team’s drafting position next April. Some want to see the team show fight despite knowing their goals can’t be achieved this year.