Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Saints March In, Patriots March Out: 16-0 Belongs In New Orleans

If you believe in marching bands, the New Orleans Saints is the one franchise you believe in. On Bourbon Street, the most active street in the country, a festive crowd is marching with the Saints.


The Superdome, where inside the noise factor used to be silent and less entertaining, is now the loudest venue in the league.

Unlike before, 70,000 fans are now in the stands, optimistic the Saints can finish the season 16-0. In a friendly site, the powerhouse of the NFL happens to be New Orleans.

Is there a team able to match their intensity and hinder their unforeseen dominance? I wouldn’t think so.

As potent as the Saints are in a season, winning seems like an illusion, overpowering each opponent is discernible. With a 38-17 rout in a Monday Night Football showdown, the Saints degraded Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots.

Believe it or not, getting pummeled was as awful as Belichick’s fourth-down blunder two weeks ago, when he flunked the road test in Indianapolis.

Again, the Patriots were pushed around and described as amateurs, not the dynasty of our decade. So the most hated team in the league was again denied an opportunity to alleviate their road woes.

The Spygate suspects are latest victims of losing to the Saints, a franchise America has grown to accept for its inspirational loyalty within a community distressed when a tragedy left a town in self-destruction.

In contrast, our country has grown to hate the Patriots for Belichick’s devious tactics of deceiving the game. Since then, the Patriots have been featured as a sham, accumulating more Super Bowl victories than any team this decade.



















Now, the Saints polished into legitimate contenders and potentially can march to Miami. Assuming the Patriots weren’t Tom Brady-less, much absorption was given to New England, the almighty team of the NFL to begin the season.

At the start of the season, it is funny Drew Brees was ignored until a delusional population excluded doubt and followed the marching band.

At an 11-0, the Saints' star power is unstoppable and impossible to defeat. Remember, they’re unbeaten, as are the Colts, making us wish for a Saints-Colts Super Bowl, a wonderful combination in what should have the makings for an astounding Super Bowl matchup for the ages.

The Saints are nearing New England’s 16-0 regular-season record two years ago and the ‘72 Miami Dolphins' perfect NFL record.

Look at the schedule. If South Beach believes the record is untouchable, it could be the year the Saints fool us all and surpass an unimaginable milestone.


















If so, New Orleans would provoke the biggest celebration—perhaps bigger than Mardi Gras—and embrace the greatest Saints' team of all time. It’s possible with a light schedule.

Think about it.

I’ll be kind enough to define the Saints as the NFC champs a month in advance. It’s hard to imagine Brees and company faltering late in the season, especially against inferior teams.

Let’s all apologize to Peyton Manning and Brett Favre, and crown Brees as MVP.

What is suggested as the scorching debate, the MVP race is the most interesting in recent memory. But if you ask me, Brees earns my vote. The well-deserved award belongs to a compelling quarterback for rejuvenating a town devoid of much reverence amid a devastating tragedy.

Before his arrival, the Saints were the Ain’ts, consisting of an incompetent quarterback. Back then, the Saints were marching through a hellish period when seats were empty and television ratings were paltry. Now football is worth watching each week, and viewers are now guaranteed a captivating event.

They’ll obviously earn a top seed in the playoffs, but an awe-inspiring season is meaningless if the Saints stumble in the playoffs. Right now, New Orleans' storybook season seems relentless, while the Patriots’ horrid struggles continue to hurt a lousy defense on the road.

Against the Breezy Boys, Belichick’s defense was painful watching.

Here’s some statistics: In the game we all waited for, Brees manhandled and shoved Brady out of the spotlight. He completed 18-of-23 passes for 371 yards and an overwhelming 158.3 passer rating in a flawless performance against one of the greatest quarterbacks in the game.

It never was a quarterback duel, but simply a peculiar performance by Brady, who’s known for directing late finishes to secure victories in sensational contests, completed 21-of-36 passes for 237 yards and no touchdowns.

More shocking, Brady had no touchdowns, a rarity none of us could even imagine. Most of us would’ve forecasted that he’ll connect with Randy Moss for a touchdown. Even more stunning, he was replaced by rookie Brian Hoyer, a sign of quickly losing confidence in Brady.


He’s the one despised coach. He’s the one wearing a five-year-old hoodie. Belichick is the one blamed and criticized for the 4th-and-2 blunder at his own 28-yard line while leading by six. As a dynasty is receding, the beginning of a new one is emerging before our very eyes.

A coach by the name of Sean Payton has installed a high-powered offense, which has created an action-packed three hours of fun. Even deadlier and armed with competitors is a lethal defense.

For most opponents, the Saints are difficult to read defensively. Their aggressive and robust defense is established by the guru Gregg Williams.

Though the status of the secondary remains unknown, a veteran core is bonding as a cohesive unit. No secondary clobbered the Patriots' dynamic passing game as well as the Saints.

Just last week, Mike McKenzie signed as a utility cornerback and came to New Orleans’ aid in the secondary, disrupting the Brady Bunch.

Not much action was seen from an explosive Wes Welker or Randy Moss. Late in the third, Moss had a chance to complete a pivotal play to keep the drive alive for a potential comeback, but as usual, McKenzie interfered with the pass on 4th-and-4 at the Saints’ 10.

Keep in mind that Brees is the key to the Saints and has thrown for 5,000 yards this season, joining the company of Dan Marino for a remarkable plateau. Everyone understands the Saints have a solid supporting cast.

A plethora of reliable running backs in Pierre Thomas and Mike Bell is essential to a high-powered offense that is unstoppable.

Their rush attack is as dangerous as launching throws down field, applying all the fundamentals in the physical game of football.

Let’s all speculate. No team can beat the Saints. No team can stop the marching band.

Let’s all predict: 16-0.