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Sir Psycho Sexy 12-07-2009 10:19 AM

Payton: "We're Going for it." (16-0)
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Sean Payton: "We're Going for it."
Peter King, Article - MMQB

Payton's about to have a lot more admirers around the United States. He told me Saturday he's not going to take the foot off the accelerator down the stretch, not even if the Saints have homefield advantage clinched in the NFC playoffs. The Saints, instead of taking the last game or two to let players heal for the playoffs, will try to make history if they're in position. They're aiming for a perfect season.

Payton loved what Tom Coughlin did in 2007, having his Giants play the Patriots like it was the seventh game of the World Series in a meaningless final game of the regular season, going down to defeat valiantly and narrowly, and setting up the Giants' 4-0 playoff run that ended in the Super Bowl upset of the perfect Patriots.

I'm not saying what the Colts have done over the years -- resting their key players so they'll be fresh for the playoffs when their playoff position can't change -- is wrong. Obviously, fluky plays can happen and Peyton Manning or Reggie Wayne or Dwight Freeney could get hurt on any snap of the ball. But the Colts are the winningest regular-season team of this decade, and here's what they have to show for it: eight playoff

appearances, one Super Bowl victory and five first-game playoff losses.

It was particularly disastrous in 2005 and 2007, when the Colts went a combined 27-5, rested many of their starters, rested them some more with a playoff bye, then went out and lost at home to Pittsburgh and at home to San Diego, respectively.

Jim Caldwell says the same thing is planned this year when the Colts clinch homefield, and with a three-game lead and four games to go, Indy could have three late-season games to snooze. That could mean taking a month off before a battle-tested team like New England or Baltimore comes to Indiana for a Jan. 16 or 17 playoff game.

Payton's not going to do that. He thinks his players -- many playoff rookies -- will be energized by going for it. And though you might get the PC answer from most of the players, I can tell you guys like Drew Brees definitely will want to make a run at history. No team has ever gone 19-0; the Patriots came within a velcroed David Tyree catch of doing it two years ago. When I asked Meachem about it Sunday, he said, "I feel good about that. We always want to play. If our coach says that, we've got to back him and go out and do it.''

The landscape changed quite a bit Sunday. New Orleans (12-0) took a two-game lead over 10-2 Minnesota when the Vikes lost in Arizona. For the Saints to lose home-field advantage now, Minnesota would have to go 4-0 down the stretch, and New Orleans would have to lose two of its final four games (all NFC games). Because there's no head-to-head game this year between the Saints and Vikings, the tiebreaker would come down to conference record. My scenario would give the Saints and Vikings 14-2 records, but Minnesota would win homefield by virtue of an 11-1 NFC record, while New Orleans would be 10-2 in the conference.

It's easy to say the Saints have it locked now, but who'd have thought New Orleans could be taken to overtime by the Redskins? New Orleans will play at Atlanta on Sunday -- GM Thomas Dimitroff says injured quarterback Matt Ryan (turf toe) told him he would play against the Saints, but he's at best questionable -- and it's a playoff game for the 6-6 Falcons. Then Dallas plays at New Orleans, and that could be a must-win for the Cowboys, who have a bear of a schedule the rest of the way. Final two games for New Orleans: Tampa Bay, at Carolina. Should follow form, but if the Panthers come to play, their top-tier running game could make it a time-of-possession game.

QBREES9 12-07-2009 10:24 AM

Re: Payton: "We're Going for it." (16-0)
So No resting players.

saintsfan1976 12-07-2009 10:31 AM

Re: Payton: "We're Going for it." (16-0)
Go for it!!

Just imagine when we say "who dat", the answer is noooooobody!!!!

RockyMountainSaint 12-07-2009 10:37 AM

Re: Payton: "We're Going for it." (16-0)

Originally Posted by QBREES9 (Post 181801)
So No resting players.

I am fine with that.

This team has found an identity by not letting up.


The next game is the most important.

That is their mantra.

Why change the dynamic?

If they are afraid that perhaps losing a player will sink their chances.
That philosophy goes against the TEAM concept that they have ridden to this (historic) point.



Tobias-Reiper 12-07-2009 10:41 AM

Re: Payton: "We're Going for it." (16-0)
I think this is losing something in translation.. I think is more of Coach saying they are going to come out and play to win the games, but not necessarily that he won't rest players who need it. I'm pretty sure if, say, for any given reason, Brees start taking sack after sack in a game, he'd pull him out.

Like it or not, as it is right now, the Saints need to win at least 3 more games out of 4 to secure HFA.

woody 12-07-2009 10:45 AM

Re: Payton: "We're Going for it." (16-0)
awesome, i've always thought teams aren't as sharp as they were when they rest.

Sir Psycho Sexy 12-07-2009 11:03 AM

Re: Payton: "We're Going for it." (16-0)
I'm all for it. Somebody eventually has to win it all with the modern schedule. Why not us? WHO-DAT!

CantonLegend 12-07-2009 11:06 AM

Re: Payton: "We're Going for it." (16-0)
im not a fan of this

if we have homefield advantage i would rather take the loss and get the ring with a healthy team

we have already seen what teams can do to us when we are without some key starters......we need everybody healthy

are players on IR allowed to come back for the post season or are they done until next season? i dont know the ruling on that but maybe we could get some more players back as well

RockyMountainSaint 12-07-2009 11:16 AM

Re: Payton: "We're Going for it." (16-0)

Originally Posted by CantonLegend (Post 181817)

are players on IR allowed to come back for the post season or are they done until next season? i dont know the ruling on that but maybe we could get some more players back as well

Injured Reserve ends a player's season.
No way around it.
You don't have to keep them on the active roster, so it frees up a roster spot for needs of the team.

exile 12-07-2009 11:25 AM

Re: Payton: "We're Going for it." (16-0)
Anyone catch Ditka on Mike & Mike this morning? He was talking about the Bears 15-1 season and how the lost in week 13. Then they nearly lost to the Colts and beat the Jets by a slim margin. Both they should have handled easily. It happens in the NFL.

He said that even if they would not have lost that game he still would have started all of his players. "How would I have told Walter Payton that he is going to sit and rest"? :-D

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