Hiya, Vicki! How's it going with your "Saints FANS fatigue"? Awesome phrase, by the way. T-Boogie and I were talking about that very thing yesterday. You remember T-Boogie don't you? Ohh, you probably know him by his proper CSC name. Here, let me refresh your memory.
~My man, Tee Word, is in effect mode. Used to have a crush on Dawn from En Vogue.~
Yeah, that fella. Cool cat. Anyway, I just wanted to wrap with you a little bit about our beloved Saints. You just keep believing, Vicki. And not just for blind, faithful, homerific reasons. There's actually some good reasons to believe your team will pull through. First off, let's start with the fact that these guys are winners who have established a pattern over the last few years that have made them a top tier team in the league. And when a team does that, you give them the benefit of the doubt. If Brady/Belichick started out the season 1-3 would folks simply think it was over? If they were 4-6 right now, how many people would actually WAIT to see if it was real before actually pulling the curtain on their season?
Brees/Payton deserve the same benefit of the doubt. This isn't Bum Phillip's, Mike Ditka's, Jim Haslett's, or even Jim Mora's Saints in which the team had to PROVE that they could have a winning season. These are the Payton/Brees Saints in which winning has become a habit. When winning is what you do regularly, then you're expected to win and it's the LOSING that must be proven. I know, some Saints fans and local media types have went all retro and are carrying on as if the Saints have went back to the "Dark Ages" and there is no hope of winning. Well, PHOOEY on that!
Here, take a look.
When a team establishes a winning pattern like that you have every right to wait and see what happens. Hell, you're SUPPOSED to wait and see how it all plays out. Another thing in your favor is that you live in Giants country and have the perspective of seeing their 2011 season first hand so you have a clear and recent example of a team that was completely written off with NO CHANCE of winning the Super Bowl. Not with elite, tough teams like the 15-1 Packers, 13-3 Saints, and 13-3 Patriots who all scored over 500 points that season. Along with the 13-3 49ers, 12-4 Ravens, and 12-4 Steelers who were all tough as nails that year. Well, guess what? There are NO killer teams like that this season. All teams in 2014 can be beaten.
And that's a big piece of the puzzle. In a season without any dominant teams, no team is out of it until they have been mathematically eliminated. Yes, there have been some teams who have had dominant performances but there are not any teams which exude invincibility. Well, except if you're a Saints fan predicting another loss for your home team.
This season, teams win big one week and get their asses kicked the next. Philly was looking like a juggernaut until Green Bay destroyed them, but yet, they themselves got their tails kicked by the Saints. Denver and Peyton just got their butts handed to them. Again. Indy was looking like world beaters until the Steelers rained 51 points on their heads. Arizona is 9-1 but has lost Carson Palmer for the season. WTH hell happened to the Hawks and Niners? Every division leader in the NFL has been beaten in a game by double digits. Six of the eight division leaders has had a 40 burger dropped on them.
No team in the NFL is unbeatable. Which means that NO TEAM is beyond the reach of this Saints team. Yes, there are some good teams out there but they are all flawed. Atlanta with the lead in the NFC South? Oh, please. If the Saints were gonna pick a season to play inconsistent football, this is a good one to do it.
"B-but, the Saints mailed it in against the Bengals!"
Look, back when the Saints started out 1-3, I wrote a post called "Yeah, So?" in which I talked about how Saints fans should get used to a new phrase, "Grind", because that is exactly what it's going to take for the team to come back from this whole they dug for themselves. I also said that Saints fans should stop waiting for the 2009 or 2011 Saints offense to walk through that door and save the season because that isn't gonna happen. A lot of folks just haven't adjusted to the idea of this team being able to win in a different way from earlier Saints teams.
Yes, there are a lot of issues with this team and injuries are piling up with key players dropping like flies but, again, if this type of crap is gonna happen to the team, its best that it happens during a season like this one in which anyone can be beaten regardless of your team's record or health issues.
Oh, and there's this little thingy. The Saints have been making a habit lately of doing things they don't normally do. For instance, the Saints under Sean Payton had never lost the NFC South once they captured the lead in the division. Well, they did that last season with Carolina. Then they turned right around and did something else they had never done before - win a playoff game on the road. This season, their home winning streak ends and now folks just assume it's over because there is no way they can make the playoffs if they can't even sweep at home. No chance. Hell, they're not even being given a chance by some fans against Baltimore in the Superdome. Are you kidding me? Yeah, and folks swore up and down that Mark Ingram would never rush for over 100 yards against the Niners defense either.
Saints fans simply have not figured out yet that Payton's Saints DON'T do what you expect them to. In their Super Bowl year of 2009 they lost the last three games of the season. No team in NFL history had ever won a Super Bowl after dropping its last three games. The most dominant offensive team in Saints history, the one that scored the most points and had the largest point differential in Saints history (2011 Saints) dropped that unforgettable, still have nightmares of Roman Harper, game to the Niners when it looked like they were headed for a TWO DAT. The 2010 Saints were the first team in NFL history to lose in the playoffs to a team with a losing record.
This is who the Saints are. They do the unexpected. Count them out after dropping the last three games of the season and they end up kicking Peyton Manning's ass in the Super Bowl. Think that a defending Super Bowl champion should beat a 7-9 team in the playoffs and OOOOPS! The Saints lose the division lead and have to go on the road as a wild card in the cold in Philadelphia - No Chance. Oh, yeah. Well, screw you, pal.
Well, this season is shaping up the same way. But, instead of having a major disappointment after riding high, how about one of those nice surprises after feeling so low? Another NFL first, maybe?
You keep believing, Vicki.