If you clicked on this article, it's either because you're about to cuss the hell out of me and call me a fool, or because you're so distraught by the dreadful start of the Saints' season that you are good and ready to throw in the towel. Whatever your reason for skimming, err...reading this, wait until the end to either agree with me or to feverishly reach for your sharpened pitchfork.
I'm going to start with a question: where are the Saints going this year? I'm going to let the folks at numberfire.com tell us (below are the current projections for the Saints):
Projected Record: 7.15 - 8.85 (Change: -0.52 wins, 0.52 losses)
Playoffs: 22.7% (Change: -9.5%)
Division: 9.04% (Change: -9.82%)
Conference Championship: 2.34% (Change: -1.24%)
Super Bowl: 1.3% (Change: -0.18%)
Here's what the numbers are saying: the Saints are going nowhere in 2015, that's of course if "going somewhere" means winning the Super Bowl (it should...right?). With a 1.3% chance of winning the Big One, I'm going to call it now: it ain't happening, y'all.
So now that we got an answer to the first question that I posed, now that we know that the Saints are going nowhere this season, let me ask you a second question: New Orleans is projected to win between about seven and nine games this season. What would be the point of going 7-9 or 9-7, missing the playoffs and getting yet another mid-first round (read mediocre) draft pick? I can already hear some of you "Herm Edwards quoting machines" extraordinaire: you play to win the game!!! True. Or you can suck like heck and get Andrew Luck.
Alright, a guy like Andrew Luck comes around maybe once every 10-20 years. But Cal's quarterback Jared Goff would still be better than Garrett Grayson don't you think? How about Ole Miss' stud Laquon Treadwell as the future number one receiver for the Black and Gold?
When I hear people go crazy about the mere idea of tanking, I wonder: is it just because we've been conditioned to believe in things like: don't give up, don't ever give up? Yeah, but sometimes, the smart play is to wave the white flag to avoid further damage, just ask general Robert E. Lee. Ok, maybe the real reason we don't want to surrender the 2015 season is because we want to win a few more arguments at our local bar, or we can't endure the thought of illusiveflaw, Atlanta Jack and other illustrious members of The Falcoholic coming here to brag when the Falcons win and the Saints lose?
Whatever the reason is for us to be so reluctant to accept the idea of surrendering, personally I'd rather have the Saints endure one or two losing seasons in order to build another successful 9-10-year run like the one they just had with Brees and Payton since 2006, than dragging themselves on the field like an old NBA player who refuses to realize that his knees are shot and he can't jump anymore (think Washington Wizards Michael Jordan).
So here's what I'm saying: with Drew Brees nursing a bruised rotator cuff in his throwing shoulder, should the Saints' quarterback miss Sunday's game at Carolina and the Saints fall to 0-3, just go ahead and tank! Since 1990, only three teams have made the playoffs after starting 0-3. Three! If the Saints lose on Sunday, they're not going to be the fourth. So tank!
Let Bigfoot, err...Jairus Byrd heal longer. Let Brees sit for 3-4 games until he's completely healed, and play Garrett Grayson to see whether picking him in the third round of the last draft wasn't utter madness. Pretend that you want to win the games, play the young guys, let them play hard and learn. In the end, lose a lot, we the fans will cry and feel ashamed and use words like: embarrassing! Unacceptable! But come draft day in 2016, we'll all be screaming: Nkem-di-che! Nkem-di-che! And we'll all be delighted to hear a slightly imbibed Bobby Hebert call him "Ceviche" on WWL Radio.
Of course, because the Saints are the ultimate tease, Brees will play on Sunday, he'll throw a touchdown with his left hand on the last play of the game and the Saints will eke out a win at Carolina and be right on their way to that 7-9 or 9-7 record. We'll celebrate the win, not realizing that it was actually a loss.
What say you? Do you agree with me or should I just turn in my Who Dat Card?