The New Orleans Saints awesome season is over
January 22, 2007 10:21 PM
Being a Saints fan has never more rewarding than it was this year. First, they hired Sean Payton as their new head coach. Then they signed Drew Brees as a free agent. Then they drafted Reggie Bush, Marques Colston, and Roman Harper (who unfortunately got injured early in the season). Then they won their first 3 games, including a huge, morale boosting, domination of the division rival Atlanta Falcons.
In week 6 they had a huge victory over the Eagles, which was the first real test of the season. It was the first time the media took notice of the fact that the Saints were a quality football team. In week 14 they had another huge win over Dallas. And if people were not taking them seriously at this point, then they never would. Another solid victory over the Giants in week 16 clinched a bye week and home playoff game.
In the fist playoff, they beat up on the Eagles some more, who at the time were the hottest team in the league. And then yesterday, they lost to the Bears, who will face the Colts in the Super Bowl.
A hell of a season.
And I didn't even mention Drew Brees's MVP worthy play, or Sean Payton's 'Coach of the Year' win, or Marques Colston's runner-up in 'Rookie of the Year' voting, or Duece McAllister's mentoring of Reggie Bush, or the emotional way in which the city of New Orleans rallied around this team, or a dozen other notable things from this year.
It's much more of a season than anyone was thinking about in August. Can't wait for next year.
This might sound like smoke to you, but if we can assume for a minute that they were not going to win the Super Bowl, then I'm glad this is the game they lost. It would have been a heart-breaker to lose to the Eagles the week before. And to make it to the Super Bowl, then lose, is a much harder loss to take than losing in the NFC championship game. This way they have something to strive for. Something to build on next year. They can be confident in their ability, their rookies have more experience, the team can grow, and come back strong next year.
That is, as I said, assuming the Saints were not going to win the Super Bowl. Obviously I'd have preferred for them to go to the Bowl and win the whole damn thing! But if they were going to lose, this was the right game to lose. Have you seen what has happened to the Super Bowl loser the last few years? Seattle did okay and went back to the playoffs this year. The year before, Philadelphia went 5-11 after the loss. In 2004 Carolina went 7-9. And In 2003 Oakland went 4-12 after losing the Super Bowl. Not exactly the sort of company I'd want the Saints to keep right about now.
Anyway, here's to the best season in Saints history! May next season bring an even better result!