(WGNO) — Another tough Saints loss, and yet another chance to point the finger at the officiating.

The pass interference call on Marshon Lattimore was bad. The “illegal use of hands” on Tyrann Mathieu was worse.

But, here’s the bigger issue, the biggest opponent the Saints have is not the opposition, or the zebras, but themselves.

You can’t be last in the NFL in turnover margin and last in penalties and expect to win.

You cannot.

Last season, the Saints faced far more adversity.

They played four quarterbacks, battled COVID and went thru a litany of placekickers, and didn’t have near the talent that this year’s club has at wide receiver.

Yet they still won nine games, against a much tougher schedule.

That’s a fact.

Sean Payton did a masterful job with a very average football team.

This season, through the first month of the season, I often wondered how Payton would react to all of this.

My guess is he would have lit into his team and verbally sparred with reporters.

There was a edginess about Payton. Whether you liked it, or not, it worked.

I don’t see that edginess right now.

The Saints need to be edgy at home sunday against Seattle. They need to win, desperately.

If not, that noise in the background is the season slipping away.