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Saints Nation: When Saints Playing Down to Competition

Today I'm going to touch on something that suddenly came to me whilst watching NFL Total Access. I was sitting there thinking about the Draft coming up and how bad the Jets are going to be this year, and I got to thinking, "I would not at all be surprised if they went 0-16". That lead me to think that it would not happen because every year, without fail, any team in the league can have a horrible game or 2. Then THAT thought lead me to think about if the Saints lost to the Jets, how irritated I would be.

Here's my point: If the Saints lose to the Jets (or any other inferior team for that matter), I do believe honestly believe it's because the Saints tend to play down to their competition a little bit. I've always been a believer that if you believe you have the best team, go out and show it. I don't really care if teams run it up on other teams (like Seattle did to Arizona last season, or the Saints doing it to the Colts in 2011) because at the end of the day, everyone is out to prove that they're the best. It irritates me when the Saints lose the games that they shouldn't come close to losing because they played down to the competition and ended up not being able to come back.


 A couple examples to support my claim here: In 2011, the Saints went into the Edward Jones Dome (St. Louis Rams) with a record of 5-2 and looking like a very good team. Saints lost 31-21 on the back of 2 INTs from Brees and just not playing well at all. Another 2 examples that are possibly even worse than the first one is in 2010 when the Saints were defending Super Bowl Champions, the team went into Phoenix to play the Cardinals who were pretty abysmal at the time and lost 30-20 on the back of 3 Drew Brees interceptions. Then a couple games later, the Browns who were lead defensively by Scott Fujita (Side note: Congratulations on retiring a Saint! Who Dat!) came into New Orleans and throttled the Saints 30-17 on the back of FOUR of Brees' picks. I don't know what it has to do with, but it really frustrates me when the Saints come out and play like they just don't care and much of that (in my opinion) is due to playing down or looking past the competition and getting complacent.

I'm going to school to be a football coach. My entire mindset is that I can score points, I'm going to. If you don't like it, stop me from doing it. I get a lot of people that say that's classless or unsportsmanlike and I don't quite understand because two teams are out there to make a statement and prove that they're the better team and if one can show its dominance any way that it can, I think that team should do so even if it means running the score up. On the flipside I believe that if I cannot stop the opponent from scoring at will, then I either need to assess my talents as a coach, the talent on my roster, or I just need to be fired for not doing my job well enough. An example of this would be kind of last year when the Giants were seemingly running it up on the Saints. Sure, I was upset at the Saints losing but I have no animosity toward the New York Giants for not calling off the dogs because that's ultimately what teams should do; make a statement proving you're the best team on the field.

I would like to hear your opinion on this whole situation of running it up, not running it up, etc. I am always curious to hear others' points of view.