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Guess What? The Saints Are Probably the Best Team in the NFC South

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; The Saintsí streak of dominance in the NFC South continued yesterday, as they ended Sunday afternoon within sniping position of a division-leading Carolina Panthers team that, since its 2-0 start, has been outscored by an average of two touchdowns per ...

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Old 10-20-2014, 09:07 PM   #1
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Guess What? The Saints Are Probably the Best Team in the NFC South

The Saintsí streak of dominance in the NFC South continued yesterday, as they ended Sunday afternoon within sniping position of a division-leading Carolina Panthers team that, since its 2-0 start, has been outscored by an average of two touchdowns per game.

Howís that for a ďlede?Ē

Itís true, you know. Here is another true thing: Since scoring 56 points against Tampa Bay, the Atlanta Falcons have gone 0-4 and have lost those four games by an average margin of 15 points. The Saints, over roughly the same time, have gone 2-2, with an average result that is an about one point loss, even if you include the blowout in Dallas.

As of right now, the Saints have the highest-ranked offense in the NFC South,1 the highest-ranked defense in the NFC South,2, and the best record and point differential in the division over the past month.

The Saints are pretty bad. Everyone else in the NFC South is worse.

Okay. So how are you supposed to feel about that? Itís your right, of course, to rage weekly that the 2014 Saints are not the Super Bowl contender you expected. Thatís fine. If thatís your stuff, then do it. Itís similarly your right to scream into the Internet that all this talk about the NFC South is for losers, or whatever; sure.

All I can do is tell you where Iím at right now. And where Iím at is choosing between Milk Duds and Jujyfruit in the concession line outside a movie theater about to run a marathon of Ed Wood movies followed by The Room. The 2014 NFC South is basically MST3K, footballís highest form of camp, and I kind of love it.

Bad football is not fun for many reasons, but the biggest reason bad football isnít fun is bad teams play for nothing, or, to quote the cliche, ďplay for pride,Ē which is the same thing. Wins have to add up to something to mean anything, and while a rare good performance by a rebuilding college football team might be meaningful, the same sort of thing from an NFL team is useless.

Thatís why the NFC South is so great this year: The Mystery Science Theater 3000 quality of the division means that the Saints are still playing for something. The games still matter. They matter in a way that is different from the way they did when things were terrible in 2012 or 2007 and New Orleans was still technically alive; they matter even more than they did in 2008, when the Saints kept losing games they should have won.

The 2008 Saints are the 2014 teamís doppelganger: Through the first month or so of 2008, the Saints lost three games by a single score.

Against Washington, in the second week of that season, the Saints took a two score lead into the fourth quarter, allowed a pair of late touchdowns, including a 67 yard Jason Campbell touchdown pass, and fell behind 29-24. With three minutes left, Drew Brees took the field with a chance to win the game. On the third play of his would-be game-winning drive, he threw an interception.

The next week, the Saints lost 34-32 to Denver when a late drive stalled after officials missed a Denver linebacker lining up in the Saintsí neutral zone; more specifically, they lost because Sean Payton thought Martin Gramatica was a good idea, and Gramatica missed the 43 yard field goal attempt he tried after the uncalled offsides penalty.

And two weeks later, in maybe the cruelest game of the year, the Saints took a seven point lead into the fourth quarter of a game Reggie Bush had owned with a pair of punt return touchdowns. That didnít matter. The Saints let oh-that-guy quarterback Gus Frerotte throw a 33 yard touchdown pass to tie that one at 27, and then Drew Brees threw some incomplete passes, after which the Vikings took a 30-27 lead. Afterwards, Drew Brees threw another interception, and the game was over.

Sound familiar?

Thereís one huge difference: The Saints were the lone occupiers of the NFC Southís basement at this point in 2008; the rest of the division was pretty good, and the Saints didnít have a winning record, but each of their divisional rivals did. Thatís how the season ended, too, with the Saints 8-8, the Bucs 9-7, the Falcons 11-5, and the Panthers 12-4.

Inverse the order of finish in 2008. Have the Saints lead the pack at 8-8 and give them a title. Would you have scoffed at that title? Refused to accept it? Would you, after being sucker-punched by close loss after close loss all year, refused to care much about a first round home playoff game in the Dome? Maybe, but Iím guessing no.

And I know damn good and well how Iíd have felt. Iíd have been run-through-walls pumped, scream until my throat bled pumped; that kind of pumped. Iíll feel the same way this year. Damn your expectations, and screw style points and football propriety.

If, in a few months, thereís a black and gold t-shirt celebrating one of the worst division champions in the history of the NFL, I will wear the hell out of that thing.

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Old 10-20-2014, 09:44 PM   #2
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Re: Guess What? The Saints Are Probably the Best Team in the NFC South

yippity doo dah, Saint's are gonna win the NFC South! ....

then what?

Exactly which potential playoff caliber team can we beat?
If The NFC South is the worst, and we've been beaten by Atl, and barely won the TB game, then what does that say about this Saints team?
Is the strategy to get in the playoffs by hook or crook and hope the other team's cheerleaders are the only one's that show up to play? Because right now this team is a 1&done in the playoffs if by some fluke we end up winning the NFC South.
Right now finishing 8-8 would be pretty damn optimistic. Have you seen our schedule going forward? It's brutal!
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Old 10-20-2014, 10:15 PM   #3
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Re: Guess What? The Saints Are Probably the Best Team in the NFC South

Originally Posted by Saintsfan4ever View Post
yippity doo dah, Saint's are gonna win the NFC South! ....

then what?

Exactly which potential playoff caliber team can we beat?
If The NFC South is the worst, and we've been beaten by Atl, and barely won the TB game, then what does that say about this Saints team?
Is the strategy to get in the playoffs by hook or crook and hope the other team's cheerleaders are the only one's that show up to play? Because right now this team is a 1&done in the playoffs if by some fluke we end up winning the NFC South.
Right now finishing 8-8 would be pretty damn optimistic. Have you seen our schedule going forward? It's brutal!
Remember when the PEDhawks were the 1st team in NFL history with a losing record to make the playoffs? And in case you also forgot they hosted the Saints and won.
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Old 10-20-2014, 10:32 PM   #4
 
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Re: Guess What? The Saints Are Probably the Best Team in the NFC South

We just need a bit more horsepower...

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Old 10-20-2014, 10:35 PM   #5
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Re: Guess What? The Saints Are Probably the Best Team in the NFC South

IF we win the division, does it matter WHO we play in the playoffs?

That scenario is so far from my mind right now...
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Old 10-20-2014, 10:41 PM   #6
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Re: Guess What? The Saints Are Probably the Best Team in the NFC South

ok, it's possible I guess. But my optimism level isn't very high these days.
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Old 10-20-2014, 10:56 PM   #7
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Re: Guess What? The Saints Are Probably the Best Team in the NFC South

Originally Posted by Saintsfan4ever View Post
ok, it's possible I guess. But my optimism level isn't very high these days.
That's totally understandable.
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Old 10-21-2014, 02:29 AM   #8
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Re: Guess What? The Saints Are Probably the Best Team in the NFC South

Great. Division pennant hanging in the dome...
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Old 10-21-2014, 02:43 AM   #9
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Re: Guess What? The Saints Are Probably the Best Team in the NFC South

Well it is something to look forward to, we could get hot. Look at it this way if we don't get the South title we will never have the shot. I would rather be still alive in the post season than sitting here complaining and being forced to support other teams who I probably can't stand.
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Old 10-21-2014, 05:33 AM   #10
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Re: Guess What? The Saints Are Probably the Best Team in the NFC South

Originally Posted by Saintsfan4ever View Post
yippity doo dah, Saint's are gonna win the NFC South! ....
That is and always should be our #1 goal every season. that is taking care of business.

Originally Posted by Saintsfan4ever View Post
then what?
the rest is icing on the cake. let that part work itself out and be whatever it turns out to be.

So win win win get the crown then worry about going for the trophy

that is how i was taught at a young age in any sport by good coaches.

so much easier drafting in the bottom half of a round too
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