You can make the case for the New Orleans Saints being a team capable of beating almost any other team in the NFL in a bubble. Or, more aptly, in a dome.
Sunday's 26-20 loss to the New York Jets showed that the Saints are most vulnerable when they are not in their controlled environment of the Superdome. Now they have to face the pressure not only of winning a key conference matchup against the Seahawks in Seattle in Week 13 with the NFC's home-field advantage perhaps at stake, but they also must concern themselves with the suddenly rising Carolina Panthers and a mere one-game lead in the NFC South.
Drew Brees can do myriad things on the football field, and he has great throws Sunday to Jimmy Graham, Robert Meachem and Lance Moore, among others. The Saints also got a bit of bad luck, with a deflected-ball interception falling into the Jets' hands.
And while this one loss is nothing to be alarmed about — just as the Saints' loss in Foxoboro was not a back-breaker — it underscores just how important the home-field advantage is to New Orleans. Their four road games all have been one-score affairs, with one or two key plays tilting it in either direction, and their record away from home is 2-2. They don't want that kind of environment in the playoffs.
The Saints' offense tends to be more balanced and harmonious at the Dome. They were too chaotic and pass-dependent Sunday. That offensive line doesn't dominate enough as Sunday showed (two sacks, six QB hits and several stuffed runs allowed).