Truth be told, the most important reason that parity is good for the league is because -- at least for their first eight games -- nobody is really ever out of it. That forces fans of all teams to pay attention, at least until midseason. Most divisions are still up-for-grabs. Take our beloved NFC South:
- The division-leading Bucs should be celebrating a big win against Carolina, but instead they are scrambling to replace their offensive superstar Cadilac Williams and their left tackle Luke Pettigout. The Bucs are 3-1, but with their wounds, they can't be confident.
- In Carolina the Panthers are 2-2 but are dealing with a potentially season-ending injury to Jake Delhomme and an injury to Dan Morgan (surprise ... what a player, but he just can't stay healthy). Is our resident Panthers blogger excited about the David Carr era? You be the judge:
David Carr hardly looked like an upgrade from Chris Weinke. This game did nothing to establish any confidence going forward.
- Joey Harrington has some new fans in Atlanta. I think that's all I really need to say about that.
The point? The Saints aren't truly out of it. I could talk about winning 13-straight until I'm blue in the face, that's not going to happen. But judging by the state of the teams in this division, it's not going to take more than 8-9 wins to take it. And that's still very realistic.
And no, the Saints haven't given us any indication that this hope is warranted. But maybe absence really does make the heart grow fonder. Or stupid.
- In San Francisco, they have a new kick returner. Man, I can't help but think that the Saints cold have used him.