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Tests get tougher for 10-0 Saints

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; By SHELDON MICKLES Advocate sportswriter TAMPA, Fla. — After being so careful not to look ahead all these weeks, enjoying the moment after each of their first nine wins, the mantra was quite familiar Sunday for the New Orleans Saints ...

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Old 11-24-2009, 11:44 AM   #1
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By SHELDON MICKLES
Advocate sportswriter

TAMPA, Fla. — After being so careful not to look ahead all these weeks, enjoying the moment after each of their first nine wins, the mantra was quite familiar Sunday for the New Orleans Saints — despite becoming only the 19th team in the 90-year history of the NFL to start a season 10-0.

It was the same old story, but one these Saints are getting used to: Another game, another win. This one a 38-7 rout of the Tampa Bay Bucs, who, like New Orleans’ first five opponents, offered little resistance once the offense started rolling late in the second quarter.

It was another chance to soak up the rare run of perfection the 43-year-old franchise has never experienced. Another opportunity to say they’re not looking any farther than the next game on the schedule.

There was one very big difference though: The next game happens to be against the three-time Super Bowl champion New England Patriots in a noisy Superdome on Monday Night Football.

On top of the chance to stay unbeaten against one of the NFL’s premier teams of the decade, the Saints could also be trying to wrap up only the fourth division title in franchise history.

They moved closer to goal No. 1 for the season by bashing the Bucs. Even if the Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers win Sunday, the Saints would grab at least a share of the NFC South title with a win over the Patriots.

While there was no division title on the line Sunday, there was still something to celebrate after pushing the Bucs around Raymond James Stadium — especially in the second half.

It didn’t take long for the players to relish the position they’re in, many for the first time in their pro careers.

And it didn’t matter that they had to share the spotlight with the Indianapolis Colts, who joined them minutes later when they became the 20th franchise to go 10-0 when they held on against the Baltimore Ravens.

“That’s awesome, double digits,” said quarterback Drew Brees, who threw three touchdown passes to spark Sunday’s win. “I feel like the sky is the limit for this team.

“But like we’ve said all year, it only gets harder. By no means can we sit back on maybe what we’ve accomplished thus far and think that it entitles us to anything for the future. It only makes it harder. Every team we face would love to be the team that gives us that first loss.”

You know that the Patriots, who won all 16 regular-season games in 2007, would love to be that team. The Saints certainly do.

For the time being, they deserved to bask in the glow of their great start. Only cornerback Randall Gay and tight end David Thomas have experienced that, as both were with the Pats in 2007.

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