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JOESAM2002 12-30-2004 10:09 AM

Heaven must be smiling on the Saints..
Posted on Wed, Dec. 29, 2004

Heaven must be smiling on Saints

If the New Orleans Saints manage to beat the Carolina Panthers this weekend and surge into the playoffs, heaven help us all.

Because it truly would be a miracle.

My colleague and seemingly waiter-in-training Jim Mashek said the Saints don't deserve to be in the postseason this year. I'd say that if they found a way to win four games in a row - three of them on the road - to claw into the playoffs, they do deserve a spot.

What the Saints don't deserve is a pat on the back.

Weren't these Saints supposed to be a major playoff contender? After all, the offensive weaponry was stocked complete with an athletic quarterback, Pro Bowl wideout and a dynamic running back. Sure, the defense was a little suspect, but the coaches assured us that those problems had been solved.

Here we are, 16 weeks later. Let's take a look at the scenario. We have a team clinging to their playoff lives, coach Jim Haslett clinging to his job, and Saints fans clinging to a faint hope.

Somebody along the line forgot their lines in this script.

Even the Saints themselves have got to believe that they were supposed to be better than this. Before beating the Falcons on Sunday, Haslett said he couldn't even talk about the playoffs with his team then at 6-8. Meanwhile, defensive end Charles Grant has claimed all along that the Saints would be playing past the first week of January.

Both have legitimate cases. A 6-8 record can still drop to 7-9. But a sorry NFC has made the unthinkable possible.

The way most of the Saints talked before the season, Joe Horn, Aaron Brooks and Deuce McAllister should have been the ones resting against the Falcons last week. Horn's ailing knee surely could have benefited from the time off.

Last season, an 8-8 record got the Saints a prime seat on their living room couches for the first round of the playoffs. The year before, not even a 9-7 record was worthy of a berth.

If the Saints do close out the season with a win and the wild card spot, should fans be happy that their team made the playoffs, or upset it had to struggle to do so?

I guess we'll find out after the first round.

If there is such a thing.

Brandon M. Bickerstaff

saintswhodi 12-30-2004 10:11 AM

Heaven must be smiling on the Saints..
upset it had to struggle to do so

Puddinhead 12-30-2004 10:17 AM

Heaven must be smiling on the Saints..

Weren\'t these Saints supposed to be a major playoff contender?
I believe the \"wise guy\" oddsmakers in Las Vegas were pinning the preseason \"over-under wins\" number for the Saints at 6. Most of us here locally expected better.

spkb25 12-30-2004 05:36 PM

Heaven must be smiling on the Saints..
hey they dont deserve a pat on the back but if they can get in ill be very happy.

and puddinhead thats one of the best names ive ever heard

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