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saint5221 12-04-2003 11:57 AM

Pasquarelli gives it up for Deuce and the Saints
Nice to see the national media start to acknowledge Deuce and the job he is doing this year. He deserves a lot more. I'd be a fan of this guy even if he wasn't a Saint.

By Len Pasquarelli
Saints marching
Following the Sunday afternoon games, and awaiting the kickoff of the prime time tilt, we pondered this question: Which of the NFC's three teams at 6-6 had the best shot to run the table, finish at 10-6, and maybe steal a wild-card spot? Ooops, what's that you say? The NFC ("No Freakin' Clue") only has two .500 teams? Uh, yeah, we had posted a "W" for the Tampa Bay Bucs, rather prematurely, as it turns out. OK, so same question, but with a field now down to the Green Bay Packers and New Orleans Saints.

As much as we love Brett Favre, the loss at Detroit last Thursday revealed how limited he seems to be on some throws because of his thumb. This isn't a Green Bay offense, at least not in its current state, capable of putting up 30 points on a whim. It has less dimension, given the plight of its wounded quarterback, than most of its predecessors. It has to stop opponents with its defense, something it did last Thursday, but not consistently well enough.

So that leaves us with the Saints and, yes, we know the history of December collapses over the past two years. But, honestly, is there anyone playing better in the league now than Saints tailback Deuce McAllister. On a near-weekly basis, the guy is simply willing his team to victory. On Sunday, for a third consecutive week, he registered over 190 yards in total offense from scrimmage. The guy has nine straight 100-yard games. While there may be better pure runners in the league (and not many at that), the NFL doesn't possess very many backs who combine McAllister's size, grace, power and big-play components.

So, yeah, for a second item in a row, call the funny farm brigade. Maybe the Saints will flop again under Jim Haslett, rumored to have an "out" clause in his contract that would permit him to shuffle off to Buffalo if the Bills want him, but we're gambling that this is the year they get on another kind of December streak. Take a look at the schedule and see if you aren't at least a little tempted to agree.

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