Let’s ignore the fact that it’s week 14 for a second, shall we? That’s because in many ways, the New Orleans Saints’ season starts this Sunday. They are 5-7 and tied with the Atlanta Falcons at the top of the NFC South. And if they win their remaining games, their once seemingly impossible shot at the postseason will become a reality. Whoulda thunk it?
I for one…didn’t. After all, this team put on a lackluster prime time performance against the Baltimore Ravens at home just a few weeks ago. In fact, they went 0-3 in their middle of the season, “yeah we totally got this”, home game stretch. But last week against the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Saints finally played with some passion. They finally looked like a team that many considered to be a Super Bowl contender this past offseason.
So maybe, just maybe the Saints have hit the reset button. Rob Ryan and Sean Payton no longer appear to be having some type of Tupac v Biggie battle on the sidelines. They’re in a groove and they’re passing their good vibes along to the team.
The Panthers will likely play the Saints hard in the Superdome on Sunday. They almost always do. But we also know that the Panthers are a team that, with just a little bit of pressure on QB Cam Newton, can quite easily fall apart at the seams. If the Saints can protect the football and get Cam a teensy bit uncomfortable, we’ll be well on our way to one of 3 wins that will pave the way to not only a playoff berth, but hosting a wildcard game.