||12-27-2011 05:47 PM
Saints are playing better than Packers
The New Orleans Saints are better than the Green Bay Packers. That wasn’t true on Sept. 8, and it might not be true on Jan. 22, when they would, theoretically, meet in the NFC championship game. But I’m pretty sure it’s true right now.
I’m sure because I just watched the Saints tear the Atlanta Falcons to pieces Monday night, 45-16, to clinch the NFC South title. But that wasn’t the best story, and neither was Drew Brees throwing for his 5,087th yard to break Dan Marino’s single-season passing record. Those were both nice sidebars, but they were inevitable sidebars, and inevitable isn’t interesting.
What’s interesting is the playoffs and the possibility that the best team in the NFC at the moment might not be Green Bay, which is 14-1, already has home-field advantage wrapped up and owns a 42-34 victory over these same Saints in the first game of this season.
The Packers are the defending Super Bowl champions, flirted with perfection deep into December and have done nothing at all to indicate that they’re sliding. But if you stripped away the records and simply watched how the teams are playing now, well, the Packers haven’t looked as good as the Saints since probably Thanksgiving Day.
In that span of a month, the Packers had to come from behind in the fourth quarter to beat the Giants, blew out Oakland at home, lost to Kansas City and gave up 441 yards Sunday in a 35-21 victory over the Chicago Bears. The Saints? They blew out the Giants, Detroit and Minnesota and won at Tennessee — a far tougher schedule — before smacking yet another playoff team in the Falcons.
“I think this is our best December since this group has been together,” Saints offensive tackle Zach Strief said. “This is the kind of football you want to play right now. If you’re going to peak, this is the time you want to peak. That’s exciting for us.
New Orleans Saints outplaying the Green Bay Packers - NFL News | FOX Sports on MSN