Ralph Malbrough / Contributing Writer

Every year the National Weather Service issues their hurricane season predictions. They say, 'We think there will be 13 named storms.' Then in the summer they revise it upward or downward depending on conditions.

We will have to do another downgrade on the Saints 2012 win total if they fall into the abyss of 0-5 with a loss to San Diego. As bad as the Saints have looked and I've been saying they were bad since Washington beat them, if they lose a fifth straight game to open 2012 we're dealing with a whole different level of football hell.

0-5 means more than likely the Saints will start to not care as much, players will get injured more, and the games will get uglier and uglier. This group isn't accustomed to playing out the string in October.

The difference between 7-9 or 3-13 might seem like it's only draft position but it really decides if fans get any joy out of 2012. If the Saints pick themselves up and dig out to finish 7-9 then it means they go 7-5 the rest of the year. Not what we hoped for but still a winning record the rest of the way, maybe a winning streak, and a December game that has some sort of playoff hope.

This might sound strange from the guy who picked them to lose to Carolina and Kansas City, but I think this team has a mini run in them. Don't get me wrong, the defense is a disaster, and will keep them from being any better than 8-8.

I still believe this Saints can turn into a zombie. You know not dead but not quite alive and remember zombies can be fun. They cause all sorts of mayhem and can cause mass hysteria. Who wouldn't love the zombie Saints to ruin Atlanta and Dallas' seasons?

0-5 means hope and possible fun is dead never to rise again until 2013.

Sean Payton sabbatical spot of the week: Payton will be in the house.

The games

Last Week: 2-3
Season: 8-12

New Orleans (-3) vs. San Diego: I believe I'll be writing my recap column starting in the third quarter because either the Saints get hammered or are doing the hammering. The Saints are going to take out seven months of bounty frustrations on somebody. It will be severe, brutal, and glorious. It's just a matter of when. It's Sunday and when a dazed Norv Turner looks up in the second quarter he'll think, 'How are we down 21-3 and seen Philip Rivers get sacked three times already?' Sunday night will be big fun. Drew Brees will break Johnny Unitas' record and Roman Harper will end the streak of Saints safeties not intercepting a pass. Hope will not die Sunday night.

Saints 38-20

Atlanta (-3) at Washington: Good lord were the Falcons lucky last week against Carolina. The Panthers should have gone for it on fourth and a yard instead of thinking their defense wouldn't implode.

Falcons 31-21

Baltimore (-6.5) at Kansas City: If the Saints do turn this disaster around and make a run at the playoffs the Chiefs loss will haunt them like ghost.

Ravens 24-21

Houston (-8) at New York:
Living in Houston and having to listen to Texans fans is agony. Either they think they are going 16-0 or they think doom is right around the corner. Why can't you people just enjoy playing in the worst division in football?

Texans 34-3


LSU (-3.5) at Florida: The Tigers haven't won in Florida during the day since the 1980's. I know LSU looks like a hot mess but I'll chalk that up to not being interested in their opponents. The one team LSU played where they were really focused was Washington and the Tigers destroyed them. Come Sunday morning LSU will be back to #2 in the country.

Tigers 27-10

Ralph Malbrough is a Saints fan living in Houston. Email him at, find him on facebook, follow him on twitter at!/MilneMalbrough or download his podcast at Itunes.

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