Well that sure was fun. I could say the Saints used luck of absurd levels to defeat Washington but maybe something else happened yesterday.
Maybe the Redskins did everything humanly possible to thwart destiny - except destiny happens no matter what you do. At this point what else can you say?
Washington outplayed the Saints basically the entire game and because of a crazy interception/fumble recovery for TD by Robert Meachem and missed chip shot field goal, the Saints were able to remain perfect. Redskins coach Jim Zorn’s face after Washington missed what would have been a game clinching field goal looked like a man who was just told his wife gave birth to an alien baby with two heads. It will be one of my most vivid memories of 2009. Once that happened you knew the final script was already written and it was only a matter of how the Saints would win, not if.
The Saints have Drew Brees and if he is given extra chances to win a football game he’s going to do it.
Brees threw for 419 yards and two scores in a performance that seemed - compared to last Monday - only pretty good. Nothing looks as perfect as Brees was against New England.
The Saints defense played against the Redskins like I feared they might against Tom Brady. The Saints were able to use the crowd, emotion, and a great Gregg Williams plan to stifle the Patriots.
The injured Saints secondary crashed to earth after the magic of Monday night from Mike McKenzie and the replacements. In
Washington the defense looked like a unit missing key parts.
It looked exactly like you would expect a defense to look when its top three corners are sidelined.
Jason Campbell threw for 367 yards and had receivers open all day.
The good news is all the injured corners will be back for the playoffs, the bad news is I’m not sure the Saints can go 16-0 with the way the secondary is currently manned.
With Minnesota’s loss Sunday night to Arizona the Saints have created some breathing room for home field in the NFC and won the fourth division title in team’s history. The former is a good thing considering the state of the defense right now. The Saints defense basically made two good plays all day. Charles Grant stopped Rock Cartwright on 3rd and 5 to force the short field goal miss and Jonathan Vilma intercepted Campbell late in the fourth.
(I judge Mike Sellers fumble in OT as pure luck and fortunate replay call.)
So with a month left in the dream season it won’t be a sprint to the finish but more of a test to see if Saints can become football legends.
Lots of teams have had special seasons, lots of teams have won Super Bowls, but no team has gone 19-0.
The Saints are four wins from completing a 16-0 regular season.
Say it out loud and it gives you chills.
The Saints are now every team’s Super Bowl the last four weeks. If you thought playing in Washington was tough, wait until Atlanta.
If you don’t think the Falcons will give the Saints the absolute best shot they have then you aren’t familiar with the Atlanta-New Orleans rivalry.
The Falcons and their fans would love nothing more than to ruin the Saints perfect year.
The Saints look like, as Buddy D used to say, “God has them in his football pool.”
Some people might say the Super Bowl is more important than 16-0 and they are right. Except now as the chase for the holy grail of perfection gets closer by the week, everyone wants it more. It’s a once in lifetime chance, and for fans it will make the December of the greatest Saints season even sweeter.
As one caller to my podcast said after the game, “Watching the Saints go 12-0 and win games in every conceivable way I think I might have died in August and entered football nirvana.”
No my friend, heaven might not be this good.
Ralph Malbrough is a Saints fan living in Houston. Email him at email@example.com, find him on facebook, or listen to his Saints podcast at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/forecastradio
His regular Monday column will be on Tuesday.