Forecast: Too early to talk about perfect Saints’ season?

Forecast: Too early to talk about perfect Saints’ season?

Credit: AP

Forecast: Too early to talk about perfect Saints’ season?

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by Ralph Malbrough / Contributing Writer

wwltv.com

Posted on November 3, 2009 at 3:06 PM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 3 at 3:25 PM

The Saints are 7-0 and anything less than a trip to the Super bowl will be a disappointment. We all know it so embrace it. I view every game they play through that lens.

It doesn’t mean you’ll hear me complain when they win, dissect play calling, or start breathing into a paper bag because Michael Turner ran for 150 yards. It just means I view the games different.

The Saints aren’t in a week-to-week death battle to make the playoffs anymore.

They are three games clear in the NFC South and two games clear for a bye week in the playoffs. I’m beyond excited over the Carnival of Fail (Carolina, St. Louis, Tampa) we’ll see the next three weeks.

The Saints scored 35 and their scoring averaged dropped! I wish this season would go about 20 weeks. The New Orleans defense has outscored the Cleveland Brown offense.

The Saints have been so dominate Monday night was the first time I was nervous all season.

When Atlanta was driving down 28-24, I started to fret. Turnovers combined with the Falcons on the move seemingly had the Saints in trouble.

Interception Tracy Porter game over, division race over and it meant we could look at the big picture.  Besides enjoying each Sunday there are only two things I’m concerned about the rest of the year; Saints being healthy for the playoffs and clinching the top seed in NFC.

Let Sean Payton worry about getting the Saints ready to play every week.

He shouldn’t have much trouble keeping their attention since the Saints are a team filled with guys who haven’t won anything.

Do you think Drew Brees is letting up one second the rest of the year?

Brees is so focused five seconds after center Jonathan Goodwin went down he was taking practice snaps with Jamar Nesbit.

The only bad news the last two weeks or the whole season really is the injuries to Sedrick Ellis and Jonathan Goodwin. Ellis is out for at least a month and if Goodwin is out for an extended time then suddenly the middle of the lines will be vulnerable. I’m no coach but I doubt it was a coincidence the Saints defensive line finally got pushed around the week Ellis was out.

A possible injury to Goodwin might be worse. Teams know the only way to beat the Saints is to hit Brees a lot. Miami did it for a half, Atlanta for a quarter.

An offensive line without Goodwin might mean more hits like Brees took when he fumbled and the Falcons scored.

The good news is the Saints schedule the rest of the year is pillow soft and has really only three possible losses (Patriots,Cowboys, Falcons) so they will be able to survive if some players have to miss games unless they get hit with a bunch of season ending injuries.

So the only thing left is finishing with the best record in the NFC.

The Saints will be in a race for home field with a team which has the strengths to beat them. Say hello to the Minnesota Vikings.

They have a tremendous defensive line and power running game, which are the two things absolutely essential to beating the Saints. Put the NFC Title game in the Metrodome with a raucous crowd and you have one steep hill to climb.

Impossible? No, but the Vikings pass rush is awesome when combined with crowd noise.

The Superdome gives the Saints defense the same thing.

It’s November 3rd and I’m talking about how the main thing on my mind is home field advantage. Usually, I’m hoping the Saints get back to .500, fire the coach, or wondering about next year’s draft. It’s a brand new Saints universe.

Everything is different so get used to it.

Ralph Malbrough is a Saints fan living in Houston. Email him at ralphmalbrough@hotmail.com or find him on Facebook.

 

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