If, which prior to Sunday’s game against the Steelers seemed like a big if, the Saints make the playoffs, look for them to be notable contenders for this year’s Super Bowl. The Saints have already taken down probably the hottest NFC team this season, Green Bay, and it wasn’t close; the Packers left New Orleans carrying a 44-23 loss. And don’t forget, they proved they can win on the road in the playoffs against the Eagles last year.
Of the Saints’ seven losses, five of them were by a possession or less, four of them were by a field goal or less. The other two losses were just pure lack of execution, against two of the top teams in the league, Dallas and Cincinnati. Six of the seven losses were to teams with winning records, the Atlanta game was divisional, so it doesn’t really matter what the records for either team are. New Orleans also is the only team in NFL history to lose the final three games of the regular season and still win the Super Bowl.
Coach Sean Payton is making sure Saints’ players know that this season isn’t over, at all. Though New Orleans is tied with Atlanta atop the horrid NFC South, the Falcons have the tougher schedule as the season enters its final quarter. Drew Brees has always been a sort of ‘underdog’ quarterback even with all of his success, but if he can lead his team through these final regular season games and through the playoffs, to the Super Bowl, I think it’ll end that. Though the New Orleans defense is young, this last stretch of games should give them plenty of time to get experience and become a more formidable force.
So, do the Saints have just as much chance to go to the Super Bowl as any other NFC team? Sure. Can they beat the AFC team who makes it to the same game? Ask me after the NFC Championship.
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