Patriots @ Saints - is it 8:30 yet?

I hate Monday Night Football, I really do.  By now, we've usually figured out who's won and lost and, in my case, have already written about it.  But noooooooooooooo!!  I have to endure yet another 2 days (Sunday and Monday) of hype: Drew Brees this and Drew Brees that, 10-0, Who Dat, Geaux Saints... I need a drink already.

It is safe to say both these teams will make the playoffs.  They appear to be on track to win their respective divisions.  That is, barring a "Fail" of epic proportions.  The real question is, "Have the Saints played quality opponents?"  Statistically speaking, a ginormous "No!!"  Using SoS, the Saints have the easiest schedule by far (thanks JHR, I love stats sites).  Even looking at Football Outsiders' DVOA analysis, a 10-0 record buys you little respect when it's been against weak opponents.

We've had a couple of easy ones thrown our way too (Buccaneers and Titans), but that's about it.  While recovering from major knee surgery, Tom Brady has led this team to an astounding 7-3 record given all of the injuries we've had to contend with, not to mention 2 promising receivers (Greg Lewis, Joey Galloway) hitting the bricks.  Julian Edelman?  You're up.  But we keep on keeping on.

Would a Saints win legitimize that franchise's season?  Anyone with a brain says yes.  It's like beating the Colts or the Vikings.  A win against a quality team, not just a flash-in-the-pan, gives you some credibility.  The naysayers will have to find some other method to rail against your team 'cause at the end of the day, it's all about W's and L's, right?  I mean, isn't that the great equalizer?  And let's not forget the ability to win in the playoffs.  In the last 10 years:

New England Patriots: 6 playoff appearances, 4 AFCCG titles, 3 Super Bowl wins
New Orleans Saints: 2 playoff appearances, 0 NFCCG titles, 0 Super Bowl wins

No doubt, I am impressed by a 10-0 record.  In this day of free agency, fielding a successful team is a difficult thing.  But never let it go to your head.  If you did it playing quality opponents, hats off.  If not, well at least a tip of the old chapeau.

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