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10 Reasons the Saints will win!! By a Chicago writer! Ha ha!

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; THIS IS COPIED FROM AN ARTICLE IN THE CHICAGO SUN TIMES: The big uneasy: Saints a threat With Brees, McAllister, Bush in high gear and most of America behind them, Sean Payton's team presents a mighty challenge for the Bears ...

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Old 01-19-2007, 02:34 PM   #1
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10 Reasons the Saints will win!! By a Chicago writer! Ha ha!

THIS IS COPIED FROM AN ARTICLE IN THE CHICAGO SUN TIMES:

The big uneasy: Saints a threat With Brees, McAllister, Bush in high
gear and most of America behind them, Sean Payton's team presents a
mighty challenge for the Bears on Sunday

January 15, 2007
BY NEIL HAYES Staff Reporter

NEW ORLEANS -- The Saints will be the sentimental choice and popular pick to beat the Bears in Sunday's NFC Championship Game and reach the Super Bowl for the first time in the franchise's 40-year history. Here are 10 reasons why the Saints could shatter the Bears' Super Bowl dreams:

10: DREW BREES
In one season, Brees has become the most popular quarterback in the Crescent City since Archie Manning. He accomplished that with equal parts compassion for Hurricane Katrina victims and by leading the league in passing yardage (4,418). He is a savvy quarterback who is the personification of coach Sean Payton on the field. He is patient enough to take the short throws while also leading the league with 41 completions of 25 yards or more. He had eight 300-yard passing games during the regular season for an offense so diverse that 10 receivers had at least 14 receptions.

9: COACHING
Payton did a great job of identifying Brees as his quarterback and designing an offense that takes full advantage of his personnel. But if there's one reason why he was voted coach of the year, it's because of his game-planning and play-calling. If you don't believe it, ask his former boss Bill Parcells, whom he masterfully outcoached during a stunning 42-17 victory in Dallas late in the season. Payton will have some wrinkles for Bears coach Lovie Smith and defensive coordinator Ron Rivera. Before players can make plays in big games, coaches must put them in position to succeed. Whoever wins the strategic chess match will have a big edge.

8: DEUCE McALLISTER
The Saints' all-time leading rusher had 143 yards on 21 carries against the Eagles, proving he's the type of bruising runner that can create problems for the Bears and give New Orleans the ability to grind out a win at cold and windy Soldier Field. McAllister rushed for 100 yards or more in four of his last five games and carried the ball nine out of 15 times late in the fourth quarter Saturday -- when everybody knew what was coming -- and still was able to keep the chains moving and preserve the Saints' victory.

7: ROAD WARRIORS
Teams that play in domes often are exposed on the road. That's not true of the Saints, who outscored opponents by an average of 30-19 while winning six of eight games on the road this season, which would seem to dilute the Bears' home-field advantage.

6: REGGIE BUSH
The Bears are one of the league's best tackling teams when they are playing well, but they need to be extra careful with Bush, who has the rare ability to turn a nominal gain into a game-changing play. Handing the ball to Bush is like pulling the lever on a slot machine. Every once in a while, it pays off big, which is why Bears defenders must be diligent. He stretches defenses vertically when he lines up at wide receiver and horizontally on swing and screen passes in the flats.
If the Bears thought they had trouble stopping Shaun Alexander, Bush and McAllister could be double trouble.

5: DEFENSE IN DECLINE
The Bears' defense isn't the threat it was before Mike Brown and Tommie Harris suffered season-ending injuries. They Bears have allowed an average of 356 yards in their last seven games after allowing 251 per game in their first 10. That would seem to be a big advantage for a Saints offense that gained 435 yards (6.0 yards per play) and was hitting on all cylinders against the Eagles.

4: SAINTS' FRONT SEVEN
The numbers are somewhat deceiving. Yes, Eagles running back Brain Westbrook ran for 116 yards, but the majority of those came on a 62-yard touchdown in the third quarter. In the first half, the Eagles had 11 carries for 14 yards, and therein lies a potential problem for the Bears. The Saints, despite ranking 23rd in run defense and 30th in rush yards per carry, excel at stuffing the run and forcing the quarterback to throw early in games, which is the ideal game plan against Rex Grossman. If Grossman plays well early, he's usually on his way to a solid game. When he struggles early, he can come undone.

3: BOOKENDS
Will Smith and Charles Grant give the Saints one of the best young defensive-end combinations in the league, which is troubling for two reasons -the first being the pressure the Seahawks put on Grossman on Sunday. Secondly, the pass rush of Smith and Grant, who combined for 16½ sacks, when coupled with the front seven's run-stopping ability could make it even tougher for Grossman.

2: SPECIAL TEAMS
The Saints have blocked a punt this season. They have blocked a field goal. They have recovered an onside kick, and Bush returned a punt 65 yards for a touchdown. Suffice to say, Bush is a dangerous returner. So is Michael Lewis, who has yet to return a kickoff for a touchdown but has returns of 43, 46, 47 and 53 yards this season. Kicker John Carney has connected on 23 of 25 field goals with a long of 51. New Orleans, ranked sixth in opponents' punt-return average, is equipped to stop Devin Hester. The Bears usually have a special-teams advantage over opponents, even if their kickoff coverage team had its worst game of the season against the Seahawks. They still will have an advantage because of Hester, but it may not be a big one.

1: VOODOO
The most dangerous teams stand for something besides winning. It can be tradition, a style of play or a standard of excellence. The Saints have come to represent a city trying to rebuild after a devastating natural disaster. There's a little bit of magic around this team that makes you feel as if the Saints are being swept along by outside forces.

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Old 01-19-2007, 02:56 PM   #2
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RE: 10 Reasons the Saints will win!! By a Chicago writer! Ha

You won't catch the Times writing an article about why the Bears will be us.
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Old 01-19-2007, 03:04 PM   #3
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RE: 10 Reasons the Saints will win!! By a Chicago writer! Ha

Of course not, the Bears aren't getting any respect from anyone. Hopefully the Aints will buy into the media just like you all have.

You've had a good run this year, not good enough for home field, but good. The fairytale ends Sunday though.
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Old 01-19-2007, 05:23 PM   #4
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I agree whloeheartedly with the chicago writer. I din't know they had such wise and astute writers up there.
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