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Injury Bug or getting ready for the post-season?

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Lots of injuries right now. Most seem to be minor. I think teams have recognized that players playing through the pain doesn't help the team effort. Favre proved that with the Jets and the difference in Will Smith this year ...

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Old 11-12-2009, 08:34 AM   #1
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Injury Bug or getting ready for the post-season?

Lots of injuries right now. Most seem to be minor.

I think teams have recognized that players playing through the pain doesn't help the team effort.

Favre proved that with the Jets and the difference in Will Smith this year versus last year is proof that a small injury is enough to make a good player average.

The Saints are 8-0. They can afford the risk of sidelining players with minor injuries to give them time to heal. The schedule is fairly easy the next two weeks and neither team will affect the tiebreakers except for conference losses.

I hope the coaching staff has decided to get to the post season as healthy as possible. Of course, it is a risky road, because the Saints haven't reached the postseason yet. However, with a three game lead in the division and a one game lead on home field advantage the Saints are in a position to risk allowing players to heal.

The Saints have to smell the post-season about now. One game away from a winning season. The division crown is a maximum of 5 wins away, probably less. Home field advantage is what this team is fighting for at this point unless there is a major collapse. A .500 record for the rest of the year wins the division unless Atlanta wins out. These Saints aren't a .500 team, especially when you consider the remaining schedule.

Of course everyone will continue to repeat the mantra of "one game at a time" but you know a coaching staff this savvy is thinking tactically week to week and strategically looking forward to being the best team possible when it counts.
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Old 11-12-2009, 08:38 AM   #2
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Re: Injury Bug or getting ready for the post-season?

If we end up tied with Minnesota, we lose HFA (if we lose to an NFC team)

They lost to an AFC team. Conference record would give them the tie breaker.
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Old 11-12-2009, 08:48 AM   #3
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Re: Injury Bug or getting ready for the post-season?

I think there is small chance of Minny ending the season 15-1. There isn't much chance of the Saints finishing better than 14-2 for that matter.

The most meaningless game remaining on the Saints schedule is the New England Monday night game. They are the only non-conference game remaining. The biggest two games left are Dallas as a potential HFA competitor and Atlanta, as our competition for the division.

I can see the coaching staff getting guys healed up over the next four games. The Saints have to be able to win short-handed against the Rams, Tampa and Washington and New England is the least important game on the schedule.
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Old 11-12-2009, 10:07 AM   #4
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Re: Injury Bug or getting ready for the post-season?

While I concur with your assessment that the NE game is the least important relative to seeding, any unnecessary loss could hurt seeding. The "any given Sunday" theory, where even a team like the Bucs can win only because the Pack gave them 4 turnovers inside the Pack 20, has to give anyone pause in taking even the lowliest team lightly. The great teams treat every game like it is an opportunity to humiliate and destroy. No weeks off. The Patriots haven't been the winningest/most dominant team in the decade because they let their players take a week off. Every game means something. Find that something and win.

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Old 11-12-2009, 10:39 AM   #5
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Re: Injury Bug or getting ready for the post-season?

Sitting injured players down isn't "letting them take a week off"

Favre played with a bad shoulder and destroyed a playoff season for the Jets. I recall a Saints QB doing the same thing.

Will Smith played with a sports hernia last year and was average. A fully healthy backup probably would have played better. Maybe the Saints missed the playoffs last year because of it?

Playing through injury has been held up as a goal in the NFL and I think teams are realizing that an injured star is not going to play better than a healthy backup.

The Patriots are the masters of this. Their signature is plug and play with anybody in the position (other than Brady).

I'm hoping the Saints do the same.
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Old 11-12-2009, 10:51 AM   #6
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Re: Injury Bug or getting ready for the post-season?

Not so sure Minnisota will wind up 15-1, they still have a few games with teams on the bubble...

Saints still have away games with Division teams that believe they can beat them and a couple with other playoff teams...

It will be a week to week thing until teams start clinching playoff positions.....
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Old 11-12-2009, 11:09 AM   #7
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Re: Injury Bug or getting ready for the post-season?

Originally Posted by gumbeau View Post

The Patriots are the masters of this. Their signature is plug and play with anybody in the position (other than Brady).
\

They did pretty well without Brady last year.
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Old 11-12-2009, 11:15 AM   #8
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Re: Injury Bug or getting ready for the post-season?

Patriots game is a bench mark game, its the test that can get the team over the hump in terms of respect and to see how far this team has come in the NFL. I heard Brady this morning say that he loved playing the Colts because it let his team know how good they were in the NFL since Brady sees Peyton as a rival.
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Old 11-12-2009, 12:52 PM   #9
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Re: Injury Bug or getting ready for the post-season?

Originally Posted by RaginCajun83 View Post
Patriots game is a bench mark game, its the test that can get the team over the hump in terms of respect and to see how far this team has come in the NFL. I heard Brady this morning say that he loved playing the Colts because it let his team know how good they were in the NFL since Brady sees Peyton as a rival.
Patriots-Colts is a conference matchup that usually determines home field advantage in the AFC.

Patriots-Saints is non-conference, the only non-conference game left. The media will hype it up but out of the 8 remaining games for the Saints this one is the least important to win.

That doesn't mean the Saints won't be playing all out but if you have players with small injuries that could get worse THIS is the game to sit them down. Beating Saint Louis is more important than beating New England.

Of course, I'll take wins in both.
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Old 11-13-2009, 06:48 AM   #10
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Re: Injury Bug or getting ready for the post-season?

Agreed Ragin, the Pats game is important. Let's just say the Saints make it to the SB. Their likely opponent would be a team with a recent SB win (Pats, Steelers, or maybe Colts if their D holds up). If our boys have already beaten one of the top AFC teams, that is a huge confidence boost. If not, all the confidence rests with the AFC champ. The Monday night game is a big-time statement game.

As to "resting" players, we are seeing the advantage of depth this year. The backups are almost as good as the starters, which allows the starters to rest at times during games and stay fresher, also less likely to get hurt. Team depth has been one of the secrets of success for the Patriots and is now paying off for the Saints as well.

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