By Eric Ronnebeck
Looking at the teams that I’ve written off this season, only two of them stick out as actual playoff contenders: the Buccaneers and the Dolphins. What the hell, Florida?! Whatever. I stand by my articles and I refuse to write a retraction… until I have to. Until then, let’s point out something else I can be blamed for. Let’s point out how instead of writing off teams by record, I’ve actually written off some teams based on my fan loyalties. That has got to be the only reason this weeks team has been able to keep themselves out of this column.
New Orleans Saints: (6-8)
Why did it take so long for me to write off the New Orleans Saints? When I was a kid, the Seahawks were members of the AFC and I wanted a second team I could root for that wouldn’t affect the Seahawks playoff chances; that team was the Saints. Could that be the reason? I’m a sports uniform/logo aficionado and the Saints helmet/uniform combo has always looked really cool to me. Maybe that’s it. Honestly, the reason why it’s taken this long to write off the Saints is simple: I believed in the power of Drew Brees versus a league that has forgotten about him. With all the talk about Peyton Manning and Tom Brady over the years, it’s easy to overlook the 5’10” guy from Purdue. Drew Brees may not own multiple Super Bowl rings but he has one and it came against Peyton Manning. As I will continue writing off the Saints 2016 season, just remember what an entertaining treasure we have in Drew Brees.
All but two of the Saints losses (games against the Falcons and Lions) were by six points or less. Take a look at the Carolina Panthers last year, when they made a run to the Super Bowl, and you will notice that they won something like nine of their games by less than a touchdown. What I’m getting at here is that depending on how the metaphorical pendulum swings, NFL teams are often times one score away from having a completely different season. It could be bad different or good different. If the Saints had, say, a better head coach or one more solid player on defense, we could very well be looking at an 11-3 Saints team. As it stands, the Saints are 6-8 and they will be missing the postseason once again. Drew Brees deserves better, let’s hope he gets that in the offseason.
The season is winding down and with it, so is my vitriol for the remaining teams I’ve yet to write off. I’m not saying that my sarcasm is waning, I’m just saying that I’m ready to see who’s in and who’s out of the NFL playoff race. Only two weeks remain.