What makes us respond to internet trolls? Why do our hearts flutter when an aggressive driver speeds past us waiving the one finger salute? How come we can endure years of teasing from a sibling but a comment from a complete stranger seems to shake us to the core? There must be something profoundly unique about the infrequent negative interaction.
If I sat and thought about it logically, it makes no sense. Why nine months later am I still haunted by the Minneapolis Miracle? For me personally, since then my wife and I welcomed our son into the world, I got a promotion at work, purchased a car. It’s been a good year.
The Saints are in a better position as well. We have a better record now than this time last year. We weathered Ingram’s suspension. There’s been no “sophomore slump” from Kamara. And with the Eagles, Seahawks, Packers, and even Vikings themselves struggling, it looks like only the Rams can stand in the way of us returning to the Superbowl. Even if we lost tomorrow, we would still be at least tied for second in the conference and in no worst a position. But does any honest Saint fan not feel this is a must-win?
Last season’s playoff loss left us with a feeling of incompleteness that only beating specifically Minnesota can fill. Currently, we are out of balance. The Vikings have one up on us. This psychological discomfort, I would argue, is so strong that it makes this game the single most important regular season game this year. Yes, the Eagles are the defending champs, the Rams are record-wise the best team in the league, but without getting back in balance, we’ll lack the mindset necessary to win it all.
The good news is, there’s no quarterback-coach duo that understands the psychology of the game better than Brees and Payton. So we’ll be ready, and we will make this right.