New Orleans Saints -

New Orleans Saints - (
-   Saints (
-   -   Article: Sorry, Colts/Saints fans ... Super Bowl highly unlikely (

papz 11-19-2009 12:58 PM

Sorry, Colts/Saints fans ... Super Bowl highly unlikely
Nov. 18, 2009
By Clark Judge Senior Writer

There are no better teams today than New Orleans and Indianapolis, so, naturally, the expectation is that they meet in the Super Bowl. Only I'm here to tell you they won't. One of them won't make it, and maybe neither gets that far.

That is not an opinion. It's a history lesson, and if you're skeptical, go back to this time last season when the best two teams were Tennessee and the New York Giants. The Titans were unbeaten. The Giants had lost once. Both were slam dunks to breeze through the playoffs, yet neither did. In fact, both bowed out after one game.

An aberration? Hardly. Teams that are white-hot at midseason often lose that momentum as the season winds down, and for good reason: It's difficult, if not near-impossible, to maintain a peak level of performance -- as well as to avoid key injuries -- for four months. The season is simply too long.

The 2007 New England team would seem to contradict that idea, only the way I see it they reinforced it. Yes, they won all 16 regular-season games, but look what happened down the stretch: They could have been beaten by Philadelphia. They should've lost to Baltimore. They should've lost to the New York Giants in the regular-season finale. And they were taken to the wire in the AFC Championship Game by a San Diego team operating without Antonio Gates and LaDainian Tomlinson and with quarterback Philip Rivers playing on one leg.

In short, they wound down as the stakes went up. So when they reached the Super Bowl they were beaten by a Giants team that, until a Dec. 23 defeat of Buffalo, wasn't sure it would qualify for the playoffs. The Giants weren't the best team in the NFC that season. Dallas was, but the Cowboys couldn't win a playoff game, either.

My point is this: Don't get dazzled by what's going on nine games into the season. Yeah, it's terrific that Indianapolis and New Orleans haven't lost, and, no, I don't see anyone out there that is superior. But I also know there are seven weeks left in the regular season, and that's a long, long time to maintain breakneck speed.

Besides, I'm not sure you want to maintain anything going into the playoffs. You want clubs that improve weekly. You look for teams that catch fire in the second half, start building momentum, gain confidence and take their game to the next level for the playoffs. San Diego GM A.J. Smith always says the key to any season is reaching the playoffs because anything is possible after that.

And he's right. Tennessee struggled down the stretch last season, splitting their last six games. The Giants floundered, losing three of their last four. So when the second season started it really didn't matter that both clubs held home-field advantages; what mattered was that their play ... and, probably, their confidence ... had declined.

That's why I urge you to start paying attention to teams that are beginning to build something -- someone, say, like Arizona or Cincinnati. They're good, they're dangerous and they're hot. So are Indianapolis and New Orleans. But how can they stay hot for five months? I mean, everyone is supposed to peak for the playoffs, right? But when you win early and keep winning, how do you suddenly peak when you've been doing it for four long and exhausting months? Often, teams don't, and the 2008 Titans are proof. So are the 2005 Indianapolis Colts. They won their first 13, then couldn't beat Pittsburgh in the playoffs. The 2003 Kansas City Chiefs will take their place in line behind them. They won their first nine, then couldn't beat Indianapolis in the playoffs.

"This is a game of confidence and momentum," said Carolina GM Marty Hurney, "whether it's teams or whether it's individual players. It's a game of confidence and momentum, and the teams that are hot at the end historically are the teams that do well in the playoffs."

Notice he didn't say the teams that are hot in September and October. That is not a knock on the Colts or Saints or anyone else who starts fast. New Orleans and Indianapolis are the best teams out there, and Indianapolis demonstrated why in last weekend's come-from-behind defeat of New England. The Colts and Saints produce points in bunches. Both play respectable defense. And both have shown the ability to rebound from large deficits.

By winning now, they can gain home-field advantage for the playoffs, and that is big. But it is not crucial. Only nine of the top 20 seeds in the past 10 years have made it to the Super Bowl, or 45 percent. Moreover, two of the last four Super Bowl winners were wild-card entries, clubs that made the playoffs by picking up their performances during the second half of the season.

One of my favorite examples is the 2005 Pittsburgh Steelers. After dropping to 7-5 with a loss to Cincinnati -- their third consecutive defeat -- they were supposed to be DOA. But they won their last three, then ran the table in the playoffs. Basically, they saved their best football for when it mattered most.

So there's a lesson there, and the lesson is this: While New Orleans and Indianapolis are good --- and I mean real good -- they may not be good enough to maintain their torrid paces. The last time the top two seeds entering the playoffs went to the Super Bowl it was 1993, and each had four losses. So there's a history of good teams going bad in the playoffs, and there's a history of top seeds going south. I like the Saints, and I like the Colts, and I like them a lot. But I like them now. One of them will not survive this grind, and it's not something I see in either club that tells me. It's something I see in the league's history.

Sorry, Colts/Saints fans ... Super Bowl highly unlikely - NFL - Football

Sir Psycho Sexy 11-19-2009 02:35 PM

Re: Sorry, Colts/Saints fans ... Super Bowl highly unlikely
So we're peaking mid season??

Some one should tell the writer the Saints aren't playing there best ball right now and are riddled with injuries on defense.

Rugby Saint II 11-19-2009 03:42 PM

Re: Sorry, Colts/Saints fans ... Super Bowl highly unlikely
He forgot to mention that one loss for either team could be a motivating factor down the road. A team can be hot without winning every game. We haven't been peaking, we've been struggling and we have been winning some very ugly games with backups playing for our injured starters. Maybe it's just me, but I was pretty upset after reading this article...the writer Clark Judge claims to be a fan of both teams, so why didn't he look a little deeper into how we are winning. When we get our injured players back then we can start to peak. This author can kiss my:moon:

eezeekial 11-19-2009 04:04 PM

Re: Sorry, Colts/Saints fans ... Super Bowl highly unlikely
thanks debbie downer lol

B_Dub_Saint 11-19-2009 04:16 PM

Re: Sorry, Colts/Saints fans ... Super Bowl highly unlikely
I call BS on this article. We are making history so far and will continue to make history all the way to Miami. Put that in your pipe and smoke it Clark Judge.

Dasidreidia 11-19-2009 04:22 PM

Re: Sorry, Colts/Saints fans ... Super Bowl highly unlikely
I disagree as well. We are on a roll, but we haven't played our best yet. '72 Dolphins anyone?

Papa Voodoo 11-19-2009 06:13 PM

Re: Sorry, Colts/Saints fans ... Super Bowl highly unlikely
The same guy probably wrote articles that the Pats would be the first 19-0 team. Something is VERY different about this team...I haven't seen it since the Dome Patrol and the offense was not on board then, just the D. Our O and our D have something special this's very plain to see for us fans.

Euphoria 11-19-2009 06:41 PM

Re: Sorry, Colts/Saints fans ... Super Bowl highly unlikely
Lets be honest its a long road and anything can happen. The odds really aren't stacked in our favor nor the Colts. The impossible feat would be that the Colts and Saints would be in the SB and get in undefeated to boot.

SaintPauly 11-19-2009 07:01 PM

Re: Sorry, Colts/Saints fans ... Super Bowl highly unlikely
Not saying I agree, but we are fans. Short for fanatics. Its kind of like when the teacher calls to
tell u that ur kid is cutting classes. NOT MY KID! Heh heh. Anything is possible. One game at a time.
The best philosophy to have.

QBREES9 11-19-2009 11:01 PM

Re: Sorry, Colts/Saints fans ... Super Bowl highly unlikely
Did the writer see the past couple of SAINTS Games. Those weren't great games.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:04 AM.

Copyright 1997 - 2018 -