Jan 3, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; New Orleans Saints tight end Benjamin Watson (82) catches a touchdown pass behind Atlanta Falcons free safety Charles Godfrey (30) during the second quarter at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
#3. PLAYING “SPOILER”
One of the very few things that the office of Roger Goodell has actually gotten or done RIGHT during his ridiculous tenure as the league commissioner; is to schedule the final games of the regular season to be between divisional rivals, often even the final two games.
The Saints last two games are against Tampa Bay at home, and Atlanta on the road; two teams currently tied for the NFC South lead at 8-5, and in the thick of the playoff race.
Honestly, is there any Saints fan alive that WOULDN’T love their team to cripple the postseason hopes of their bitter rivals? This is important to many veteran players as well; and some have even described in previous years as ‘salvaging their season’.
Truth be told, players like Nate Stupar, a former Falcon, probably had two specific games circled on his calendar.
So too, does cornerback Sterling Moore (Tampa Bay). (Additionally, defensive tackle Nick Fairley just played both of his former teams — the Los Angeles Rams and Detroit Lions — in back-to-back weeks).
An opportunity for a player whose own season is already over to perhaps end his former team’s season also, can sometimes be a great source of motivation.