Photo by: Michael C. Hebert/New Orleans Saints
The Saints are in the same scenario as they were in 2009, the NFC number one playoff seed. They get a much deserved week off and then have home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. With all the success of this year’s team I reflect on my early fan feelings of the struggling team I remember falling in love with as a kid. Archie Manning threw a slew of interceptions and lost to the Pat Hayden-led LA Rams in the dome, but to me it was just like a gorgeous woman throwing up in front if me. I was smitten. All I wanted to do was just hold her hair back out of harm’s way. The Saints went on to a glorious 8-8 record and I and many others were feeling total bliss. The next two seasons were a combined 5 and 27 and back to reality.
Since Sean Payton and Drew Brees have been together they have been a factor pretty much every year. What about the three straight 7 and 9s Will?! Even then the offense was worth the price of admission, and only historically bad defenses kept them from the playoffs all 3 years. The 2017 Saints were one miracle away from an NFC Championship last year and have clinched number 1 seed and assured home-field advantage for the entire NFC playoffs. The only other time the Black and Gold clinched number one seed was in the 2009 season, you know when pigs flew, hell froze over, and our beloved Saints won it all.
I look at this point in Saints history as when John Elway won back-to-back at the end of his career, when he had a great running game and solid defense . The twenty-something aged fans in Who Dat Nation are a bit spoiled but that’s OK, just bask in the glow of team that looks like it may end up in Atlanta come February. New Orleans has no real weakness that I see so only mental mistakes, offensive turnovers, or just bad luck will derail the Saints’s limited express train 283 miles to Atlanta. Yes, I know it is not 283 miles there but I couldn’t resist.
The point is they finish this weekend 13-3 at worst but hopefully franchise best 14-2. We won’t have number 9 too much longer. Mr Benson passed this year and that seems to have been forgotten about by many, not the Saints organization and not the fans. This team is special but will the be historical? I think with a little luck the Black and Gold will hoist the trophy hopefully against the Patriots and Brady, but Kansas City or the LA Chargers will do just as well. First things first get some work in Sunday, rest up and get ready to play a Dallas, Seattle, Vikings, or possibly the Eagles. Before I forget…
Follow Will on Twitter @wilhildebrand4