Handwerger: Destiny is on Saints side

Handwerger: Destiny is on Saints side

Credit: The Associated Press

Handwerger: Destiny is on Saints side

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by Bradley Handwerger / WWL-TV.com Sports Writer

wwltv.com

Posted on December 6, 2009 at 8:33 PM

Updated Monday, Dec 7 at 9:55 AM

OPINION / ANALYSIS

LANDOVER, Md. -- With mere minutes left in New Orleans' game against Washington on Sunday, Redskins fans were thrusting Saints fans go-to cheer back in their face.

"Who dat!" shouted backers of the team from the nation's capitol.

Less than 10 minutes later, they were shouting no more.

And the Who Dats in Washington, D.C.?

Oh, they were going crazy.

Washington's Shaun Suisham missed a 23-yard field goal; Drew Brees led a 33-second, 80-yard game-tying drive; New Orleans came up with a huge caused fumble and recovery in overtime; and Garrett Hartley made a game-winning 18-yard field goal to give New Orleans a 33-30 win over the Redskins.

A team of destiny?

You better believe it.

"Him missing that field goal - y'all call that what you want," Saints safety Darren Sharper said. "... It was meant to be. The little voodoo dolls they've got back in New Orleans, they might have done a little tinkering or something like that. But whatever they did, it worked out."

Despite New Orleans Head Coach Sean Payton proclaiming after the game he doesn't believe in destiny, there's no way to think otherwise.

There's no way not to believe in destiny after watching the Saints pull another seemingly impossible win out of its back pocket (the 21-point comeback at Miami being another).

New Orleans was on its heels all game. The Redskins - and much-maligned quarterback Jason Campbell, specifically - had the Saints' number. Washington was moving the ball at ease.

But when the chips were on the table, New Orleans cashed them in again.

How else to explain Chris McAlister, who was on his couch just a few weeks ago, coming up with a caused fumble and then a recovery in overtime, setting up Hartley's game-winning field goal?

How else to explain Suisham missing a field goal all but a few high school kickers can't help but make?

How else to explain the Saints gaining 29 yards when a Thomas Morstead punt hit off the back of a Redskins player and Usama Young recovering?

Or how six plays later, Drew Brees was intercepted only to have Robert Meachem force a fumble, recover it and take into the end zone for a touchdown?

"I don't know about the voodoo, but I definitely believe in destiny," Brees said. "I believe in karma and what goes around comes around. We've been on the other side of this deal, probably too many times. Maybe it's our time that we start catching some of the breaks and start being the team that wins them like this in the end."

Sharper believes in destiny, but he also believes you make your own destiny.

That can explain a lot about Sunday's game, but that come close to explaining Suisham's miss, which would have put the Redskins ahead by 10 points with 1:56 to play and all but put the game out of reach.

There's no other way to explain the Saints' season other than destiny.

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