3. The New Orleans Saints are very vulnerable to a hangover
Hangovers in professional sports seem to be more trivial than anything, but they absolutely are something that happens. For example, as a fan of the Los Angeles Dodgers, I can attest that the team started off very poorly in 2018 (were 10 games under .500) after losing the World Series in 2017.
In some instances, getting that close to winning it all and losing can make a team angry and lead to even better results. We see that all the time. In other instances, a loss like this makes it hard to compete early in the year when the loss is still fresh in the players’ minds.
Here is the thing about the Saints. They avoided a hangover last season after the Minneapolis Miracle, even though it appeared as if they were going to have it after a Week 1 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Now, after a heartbreaking loss that will forever get etched into NFL history, the Saints are in the perfect position to have a hangover, and you cannot really blame them.
This might not be as big of a problem if they had an easy schedule or opened up with some cupcake games but they are opening up with some very tough games. This is no easy road for the Saints and it is going to be even harder when you are constantly reminded of two tragedies, tow years in a row.
This shouldn’t carry into the postseason as by then the focus obviously shifts. However, in terms of regular-season wins, it would not be all that surprising to see last year’s NFC Championship loss have some carry-over effects into this season.