Last week, when I did my little thought experiment of what I thought would happen if the Saints backwards momentum following the Seattle Massacre gained too much force, I wasn't really suggesting that the sky was falling on the Black and Gold; just that if it turned out to be the beginning of the fall, then some postseason decisions might be warranted.
After last night...scratch all of that. What a difference having the best coach at making adjustments, an actual Top 10 defense, and one of the best QB's in history when the offensive line actually protects him, makes.
You would think that the Cowboys game last month would have taught me to never underestimate this team when they are pissed off and focused...but I guess we all were in a state of shock over why the team failed to show up in Seattle.
And what else can you say about Marques Colston?? He might not be able to beat people deep as much as earlier in his career, but he still has that knack of making the tough catches and moving the chains. Put his name on the Saints Ring of Honor right now, please.
If they can harness that kind of execution and effort on the road (along with a better run game), that trip to the Meadowlands in late January might not be so far away after all.
And, even better, they still have a shot at the #1 seed, even if they lose the rematch against Carolina. That would require the Seahawks losing 2 of their final three games...and two of them are at the Giants (outdoors, in the cold, a long, coast-to-coast trip) and at home against the Cardinals (who have been playing lights out of late).
Strangely enough, because the Saints own all of the tiebreakers except for head-to-head against the Seahawks, they can actually get the #1 seed despite LOSING the Carolina rematch in 2 weeks if the Niners win out, resulting in a 4-way jamup for NFC best record (Seahawks, Saints, Niners, Panthers). Ironically enough, Seattle would drop all the way down to 5th seed....how funny would that be after what took place last week??
All of that becomes moot, though, if the Saints don't handle their biz and take care of the Rams next week. Jeff Fischer's team might not be worldbeaters now at 5-8, but they still have Tavon Austin and a defense that has given the Saints fits. And don't look now, but Tampa may finally be getting themselves together under Mike Glennon.
The Cliche that worked so well in 2009 could be even more important this year. FINISH STRONG, guys.