Now that the Saints have clinched the NFC South and are on the verge of locking up home field advantage throughout the playoffs the talk has turned to the question: Should the Saints chase 16-0 or rest their starters once homefield is secured?
Sean Payton says the Saints are going for 16-0 and won't rest starters if perfection is within reach.

As if Drew Brees is going to watch an undefeated season go up in flames in Carolina as Mark Brunell struggles against the Panthers in the season finale. Santa will cancel Christmas before that happens.

The Saints should chase 16-0 hard and no matter what happens, if Payton is telling the truth about going for it he's made the right call.

This is probably a once-in-lifetime chance to go undefeated and it's the Saints doing it.

The franchise that invented the bag-head, was the Aints, and had the astronaut GM is looking to make NFL history.

If the Saints are 17-0 hosting the NFC Championship I wouldn't be surprised if the sun exploded and the world ended.

Besides, when did resting your players assure you of anything?

The Colts have been doing it all decade and they have five opening game playoff loses and only one Super Bowl to show for it.

The one year they had to play the starters all 16 games? 2006, the year they won the title.
Resting players is fine the last week of the season if the Saints are 14-1 and have home field locked up. They did it in 2006 and were fine in the playoffs but resting them longer seems like a bad idea.

Don't you think asking the starters to take off two games plus the bye week then crank back up the intensity for the biggest game of the year is a bad idea?

Say it out loud, 'The Saints are going to take three weeks off then play Arizona in the biggest game in team history.'

I'd rather watch every episode of The Hills then sit through a first half playoff game where Brees and company fall behind 17-3 because they can't shake off the rust.

This doesn't mean hurt players should risk further injury as the Saints try for 16-0 but Payton is already being cautious with the hurt players.

Besides, I don't want the Saints giving up that 0 in the right hand column easily.

If someone is going to take it make them earn it.

Yeah, somebody could get injured late in the year while the Saints chase perfection but a bus could hit me crossing the street. Yet, everyday I get up and do what I do.

The Saints play aggressive, attack, take-no-prisoners, pedal to the metal football so they should just keep on doing it.

This moment probably won't come around these parts again so the Saints need to grab it.

The Games
Last week: 3-2
Season: 34-31

New Orleans (-10) at Atlanta: The really bad news for the Saints is their defense is banged up and if the Saints had to go on the road there is no way they get to the Super Bowl. The good news is this; No road playoff games. The Saints patchwork secondary can get by at home because the crowd helps the pass rush and players are always better at home, especially mediocre ones.

The Saints defense seemingly is eroding by the week. The Saints defense needs to get the injured back and hope no one else joins the wounded.

If you were missing your top three corners and you couldn't face JaMarcus Russell, I think Chris Redman is a fine second choice.

This was the game I had penciled in as the first and maybe only loss for the last month or so.

It's a rivalry, Falcons are desperate, and it's on the road, except Atlanta might be with out their QB, RB and two offensive linemen.

The Saints defense got lit up in Washington but even in their current injured state I think they can play better.

Also, I think Mike Bell has surpassed Pierre Thomas as the Saints best running back. If I may I'm going to channel my inner Jon Gruden.


Seriously, watching Mike Bell run is both awesome and horrifying. Awesome because he's likely to run some poor corner over yet I'm scared that every carry might be his last.

The Saints need a healthy Mike Bell for the playoffs.

As for Sunday, it will be close but the Saints pull away off a couple of turnovers in the fourth quarter. Malcolm Jenkins will have a nice bounce back game. Oh and if you haven't seen it, check out Saints fans shooting up this poor guy's TV after he lost a bet.

I'm speechless. Just Google 'T.V. shot to death after Saints beat the Redskins 33-30 in OT'. While the Saints bring joy with victory they also caused the death of a 60 inch TV. Keep that in mind.
Saints 38-17

Dallas (-3) vs. San Diego: The stupid Fox robot has waged a personal campaign to drive me insane. I fear what Xmas theme Fox will break out this week. I'm delighted however to watch Norv Turner ruin the Chargers season. It will happen and eventually the Cowboys have to win in December. Plus when the 'Boys win we can all get riled up when the media picks them to beat the Saints next week.
Cowboys 27-24

Miami(+3) at Jacksonville: As I've said before my girlfriend is a crazy Dolphin fan so I've seen every Miami game the last two year and their coach Tony Sparano is comedy gold.

He's like movie mob guy, Chef Boyardee, and Robert De Niro all rolled into one. I watched the replay of the Dolphin/Patriot game on the NFL Network with post game Sparano footage spliced in.

I wasn't sure if he was talking about the game or making threats to crack somebody's face who owed him money. Tremendous.
Dolphins 23-20

Cincinnati (+7) at Minnesota: It's not the Vikings that scare me. It's Arizona.
Old man Favre will start to look old.
Bengals 17-14

Carolina (+14) at New England: The Panthers won't win but something is wrong with the Patriots. Oh, for New England to lose and watch as ESPN goes into meltdown mode.
What a great early football Xmas gift.
Patriots 31-20

Ralph Malbrough is a Saints fan living in Houston. He hosts a podcast at Email him at or find him on Facebook.

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