Sunday, January 10, 2010

Optimism time: Saints edition

- The Saints are 4-0 this year against teams that fly (Eagles, Jets, Falcons sweep).

- Kurt Warner has never beaten the Saints in the playoffs. He had only one chance, granted, but HAKIM DROPPED THE BALL!

- Despite conflicting injury reports, New Orleans is likely to have most of its long-missed starters back Saturday (you know, the ones we missed in the recent fiascos).

- Now that everyone besides Saints fans has written them off for dead, the team can regain that old back-against-the-wall motivation that seems to serve them so well.

- Did you see the Cardinals' near-meltdown late in the wild-card game? The Saints have that covered on both fronts. With the newly re-intact offense, Drew and Co. can replicate and even exceed early-season glories. If the Packers can notch 45, New Orleans should be able to absolutely rock it out (look for lots of burns down the middle). The Saint defense, unlike Green Bay's, will show up.

- Neil Rackers proved that the Cardinals, like the Saints, have clutch-kicker issues. I predict it won't matter, because it won't come down to three.

Wood-knocking prediction: Saints 48, Cardinals 27

(UPDATE: Apparently, my prognostication is the same score as the Giants game, which came off a bye week. The Saints' last playoff win was the second 27-24 win over the Eagles in 2006-07, also after a first-round bye. I'm definitely sticking with this one. It just feels right.)

Parting quote: "The Saints are still the class of the NFL." - Trent Dilfer, after the Bucs loss

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