Winning Cures All
Oct 5, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints fans cheer their team against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the second half of their game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Saints won in overtime, 37-31. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports
Wait what winning? Won’t they be 7-9 for season even with a win, Gene?
Yes, the Saints will have a losing record for 2015 no matter how you slice the remaining pie; and it will be the first time in the era of head coach Sean Payton since 2006 where they’ve had back to back seasons under .500.
This makes it even more imperative that the Saints need a win on Sunday which will do what the tankers don’t want: and that is catapult the team from eleventh overall in the draft to a possible thirteenth or even fourteenth overall pick.
But for Payton and all involved with the Saints, it would be a momentum-builder for the organization moving forward to next season.
I’ve heard many commenting on the squad as seeing the team playing with a renewed pride and desire; although they have nothing to gain from it in regards to a playoff spot.
While shutting it down would be the logic of some teams or players so they wouldn’t risk injuries this late in the season or secure a top pick in the draft, it’s not that for the Saints.
“Playing for pride” has been a phrase used a lot in recent weeks but it goes deeper than that for members of this team who are playing for jobs, as well as trying to build chemistry for the future.
Nov 29, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; New Orleans Saints wide receiver Willie Snead (83) carries the ball during the fourth quarter against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. The Texans defeated the Saints 24-6. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Players like wide receiver Willie Snead and rookies from the 2015 draft class are merely scratching the surface with the performance we’ve seen so far, and the fire needs to be stoked in order to keep that flame alive.
Going out on a loss is something that could leave a sour taste in the mouths of some players and cause a regression in those who are unable to wrap their heads around it.
It’s much like if you’ve ever gotten a horrendous stomach virus and you think back to the last food item that you had to eat.
Although it didn’t cause the illness, it still is hard to bring yourself to taking a bite of it even weeks after that.
Brees said in a recent interview that he feels that the team is “building something great” and I believe that it’s true, which a loss may hinder construction on that project.
Nov 8, 2015; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) and head coach Sean Payton celebrate after a touchdown against the Tennessee Titans during the first quarter of a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Sure the team’s spot in the draft will go up and someone like the aforementioned Jaylon Smith would be gone; but let’s put all the cards on the table and just admit that the Saints issues aren’t getting fixed with this draft and are at least a few years from righting the ship back to what it was in 2009 and 2011.
Plus there is the obvious reason for some fans to want a win on Sunday: which is a season sweep of the Falcons — who just gave the Carolina Panthers their first loss of the season.
And what could be any sweeter than that???