Sunday, December 17, 2006

Why the Saints were smart to lose

Some might look at the Saints' 16-10 reaming by the Washington Redskins as a total shutdown of a generally excellent football team. Others might be reminded of the infamous 2002 squad, which dropped its final three games after starting 9-4 and missed a million loopholes that would have meant playoffs. In any case, most of Louisiana is moping around (I checked, and it wasn't pretty). To those people I ask: what are you worried about? This is the single most clever move Sean Payton has made yet!

Think about it:

--Throughout the season, the Saints' fortunes have hinged almost entirely on their ability to avoid turnovers. Put simply: whenever they don't fumble, they win. But with a combination of key turnovers, lousy offense and porous defense, the Saints proved that they can lose in more ways than one. This multi-faceted approach to losing will upset opponents' strategies for weeks to come.

--With the NFL's top-ranking offense, the Saints are a formidable scoring force. They are proficient with the long ball and have the league's most talented backfield in Reggie Bush, Deuce McAllister and Mike Karney. Against the Redskins, however, even Devery Henderson and Marques Colston often dropped easy passes. But fear not! The obvious message here was this: "You ain't gonna stop us. Only WE can stop us!" Saints fans should be honored to have an offense so in control that they can drop passes with such precision!

--The Saints' rush defense is like a pair of crotchless panties: they almost do the job, but they're wide open where it counts. The secondary, on the other hand, is the finest-tuned in the league. Catching up to opposing receivers makes for a thorough cardiovascular workout, thus improving the health of the D-back unit as a whole.

--By dropping the game to the Redskins so badly, the Saints have introduced a third component to their rotation. Before, opponents had to guess which of two New Orleans teams would show up that day: the Awesome, NFC-Chomping Champion Saints or the Turnover-Laden Sloppy Saints. Now already confused teams will face a new third choice: the Shamelessly Shitty Saints. It's just another way to keep opponents off guard. Kudos!

--Sean Payton's squad has shown that they aren't afraid to take chances. Instead of clinching the NFC South at home with a decisive victory, the Saints sat back and let the Falcons, Panthers and Vikings all lose to seal the deal. This was smart thinking on New Orleans' part; not only did the Saints graciously delegate a sense of purpose to non-playoff-bound teams, but they also allowed their best players to rest for the playoffs.

--True to form, the Saints left it all on the field. And that field was Texas Stadium, which will prove beneficial in the likely event that New Orleans meets the Cowboys there in the playoffs.

So, Saints fans, don't despair! Everything that this squad does is part of a strategy. A strategy so cunning that it even fools the fans. It's clever. It's brilliant. It's classic Payton.

Unless, of course, they just flopped against the Redskins. In which case they sucked.


Anonymous said...

A buddy of mine predicted, at the start of the season, to whom the Saints would lose. Thus far, he's running at 100%. Washington, according to him, will be their final loss. We'll see how well that goes.


Ian McGibboney said...

Nathan, I feel the same way. This game was a rare product of complacency from these Saints, and I feel that they will take it out on the Giants and Panthers with due efficiency.

JTekell said...

I'm just hoping this isn't the start of a meltdown of Saintly proportions.

Hillary For President said...


what can you write about football (american) when the bob barr have left the repubican (neocons) party to and join the liberaltarians!!!!!

this day is GRATE!!!!

neocons jump off sinking ship of republican party to join liberaltarins. OGM!!!