Posted by Frank Martin; friend, former colleague at The Mtn. Network of NBC Sports, and HUGE Saints fan!
After posting a 13-3 regular season record, the New Orleans Saints came up a couple playoff wins short of their second Super Bowl appearance in three seasons. With a majority of the record-setting offense under contract, the Saints were among the short list of favorites to compete for a trip to Super Bowl XLVII. (Which happens to be in the city of New Orleans) Then along came “Bountygate,” and one of the NFL’s biggest favorites became its biggest question mark. Can the Saints make SB XLVII a home game? Of course they can… But will they?
Yes and no.
5 Reasons the Saints WILL NOT win the Super Bowl
1. Sean Payton is gone. Folks, there is a reason the man makes $7.1 million per year. He is among the best at what he does. There is no way Payton’s suspension won’t be detrimental to the 2012 Saints. I understand Pete Carmichael stepped in admirably in 2011 when Payton broke his leg (and wasn’t able to even walk the sideline), but that was only for a month (and after the first week, his absence was only on game day). We are talking about Payton being away for an entire season.
Not only will Payton’s play-calling and game planning be absent each week. So will his leadership. This is a guy who took the entire team to a water park during training camp. This is the guy who signed country music star Kenny Chesney to a contract. This is also the guy who prepared for and called an onside kick in the freakin’ Super Bowl.
Say what you want about his demeanor or reputation with the media, but Payton knows how to pull strings. These things can’t be duplicated. A person has it or they don’t. It’s the same reason why Alec Baldwin’s the only famous Baldwin.
2. Bounty Gate is too much to overcome. It’s one thing to lose a starting defensive end for a few games. It’s another to lose your head coach and defensive captain for an entire season on top of that.
Sean Payton’s absence, combined with Joe Vitt and Aaron Kromer’s version of head coach “musical chairs” will be a distraction this team won’t be able to overcome.
There is also the Mickey Loomis suspension that will essentially leave the front office in park for half of the 2012 season. Now Ted Sundquist may be a better authority on this, but I would venture to say there is a lot of work done on a day to day basis by the general manager of an NFL team. When Loomis is gone, this work still needs to be done. However, the work will be done by a person who is NOT the Saints GM. I know, Duh! But that is the point. If the person in charge is NOT Mickey Loomis and can NOT have contact with Mickey Loomis… How can said person do what Mickey Loomis wants them to do? They can’t. And the Saints front office will be frozen like Bernie Madoff’s accounts.
3. The schedule is a like a witch with a long pointy hat, two cats and a titanium re-enforced broom. TROUBLE.
I know predicting wins off a piece of paper is silly, but on paper the 2012 season looks brutal. The Saints open with games against two of the league’s most dynamic young QB’s, Robert Griffn III and Cam Newton (whom they must face twice). Then they must face three teams with recent playoff experience in Kansas City, Green Bay and San Diego. Even if the Saints stay afloat, the last ten games of the season feature trips to Denver, Atanta, the Giants and Dallas.
4. The law of averages is against them. In the game’s history, no team has ever HOSTED a Super Bowl. Many Saints fans believe Roger Goodell’s “Bountygate” suspensions were put in place to keep the streak going. Conspiracy theory aside, you’d be hard pressed to find a media mind or non-biased fan who thinks it can rightly happen this season. Too many chips are stacked against this team. And the NFC is as good as ever.
5. The “Nobody believes in us” mentality… might just sink in after a couple of tough losses. At the end of the day, we’re all human. These guys may be able to run fast and lift heavy weights but their heart beats just like yours and mine. When the going gets tough we… fold.
One critical injury, a tough road loss, egregious coaching mistake and the season starts to spin out of control.
As Ted Sundquist pointed out here, A lot of things need to go right for a team to win the Super Bowl. Eli Manning needs to escape a sack. David Tyree needs to catch the ball. And so on, and so on…
It’s not a good situation when even before your season starts, you have to deal with the press/suspensions related to “Bounty Gate,” or Drew Brees’ contract situation.
Next up – 5 Reasons they will!