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Saints' focus (for now) is beating Pats

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; NEW ORLEANS -- The New England Patriots' reputation precedes them. Even though New Orleans is undefeated, the Saints are working themselves into a lather with hopes that a victory over the 7-3 Patriots in a colossal Monday night showdown in ...

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Old 11-29-2009, 12:02 AM   #1
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Saints' focus (for now) is beating Pats

NEW ORLEANS -- The New England Patriots' reputation precedes them.

Even though New Orleans is undefeated, the Saints are working themselves into a lather with hopes that a victory over the 7-3 Patriots in a colossal Monday night showdown in the Superdome proves their uncharted 10-0 record isn't a mirage. A loss would hardly be a backbreaker or season-ender to the Saints, but it would be a punch to the gut.

Following practice on Wednesday, players gushed and hurled bouquets of love at New England they've been conditioned to show opponents. Yet, you could sense the reality that the Saints feel they're the team that should be the target -- a right that must be earned, record be damned.

Quarterback Drew Brees said beating the Patriots is far more important at the moment than winning the NFC South, which the Saints could do with a win and a loss or tie by the Falcons.

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"I can't say the mindset this week or the talk is, 'Hey, let's go win the division this week,'" Brees said. "That's a big deal, especially this early on but the mindset is, very much, we are playing a quality opponent. We're not trying to put any added pressure on ourselves, we're just trying to out-prepare our opponent and play our best game."

New Orleans' coaches have spent a great deal of time "self-scouting" on film this week to see how many of its favorite plays -- or plays it thinks could be effective -- they've put on film for New England to digest.

The Saints aren't going to get away from what they do, which is spread the ball out in the passing game and complement that with a highly effective running attack. It's pretty safe to say that head coach Sean Payton, the best play caller in the game, is going to break out some stuff that's been on ice for a few weeks, if not since the preseason.

Instead of worrying so much about the challenge the Patriots pose, Brees said New England needs to worry about what the Saints have coming their way. Brees has far more toys to work with than Tom Brady, but somehow, the scales seem pretty even since Randy Moss and Wes Welker, as a tandem, are scary productive.

I've been following the Saints closely since pegging them to be a playoff team in the preseason. Their level of determination and focus has always been a little different than most of the other teams I've been around. They are incredibly detail-oriented and no player seems to mind doing what's been asked.

This clearly is a big game for New Orleans, which, like so many other teams, wants to establish the type of consistent success New England has sustained. By kickoff, the Saints are going to be a little tired of hearing about the Patriots, though. You can sense the edginess in that regard already.

NFC South title can wait, as Saints' focus (for now) is beating Pats



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