This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
OK
Dublin: 10 °C Tuesday 22 October, 2019
Advertisement

Can anyone stop the Saints from marching to the Super Bowl?

They might not have the best offence or defence but nobody is more complete than New Orleans, writes Steve O’Rourke.

New Orleans Saints: Super Bowl-bound?
New Orleans Saints: Super Bowl-bound?
Image: Stephen Lew

BY THE TIME you read this, I’ll be somewhere over the Atlantic ocean on my way to see the Golden State Warriors.

Yes, I know this is an NFL column but I wanted to boast and I hope you are suitably jealous.

When I booked the tickets, the Warriors looked like they were going to put together another dominant season. To such an extent I was genuinely hoping to see them put up 120 or more points tonight.

Since then, the season has not gone to plan for Golden State.

Sure, they sit in first place in the West, but they haven’t exactly arrived here the way anyone would have expected.

We’ve seen that Kevin Durant may the player winning Finals’ MVP for this team, but its heart and soul is Steph Curry and, without him, the side is barely above average.

Curry put up absurd numbers in his first 12 games of the season; averaging 29.5 points, five rebounds, and six assists per game, while shooting 51% from the field and a video game-esque 49% from beyond the arc on 10 three-point attempts per game.

Without him, they’ve had their worst losing run under Steve Kerr and Durant and Draymond Green decided to have an ugly — and very public spat — that threatened to cause the team to implode.

As Curry nears his return, the good ship Golden State has steadied somewhat but it’s obvious they’re lacking depth across the board.

Despite all this, they’re still as likely to win the NBA finals this season as I am to watch the new Star Wars movie on this flight, despite already seeing it twice.

Because of a much stricter salary cap, we don’t get Warriors-style super teams in the NFL and so we don’t get the drama that comes with having a group of players that could walk onto most other teams.

In fact, I’d argue that the 2018 NFL season is proof that despite having some brilliant teams, we don’t really have a complete one.

The closest, for me, is the New Orleans Saints.

I know what you’re thinking, how can you not pick the LA Rams or even the Kansas City Chiefs after the game they put in last week that set all sorts of records and would make an incredible rematch in the Super Bowl.

There are two reasons really.

Firstly, I’m human, I have biases and I picked the Saints to make the Super Bowl at the start of the season (alongside the Chargers) so it’s really difficult for me to go back on that especially when they haven’t lost since the opening game of the season.

But secondly, the evidence on the field points to New Orleans being the league’s most complete team. They’re an easy A on offence and, at worst, B+ on defence.

They also have their future in their own hands.

New Orleans can clinch home-field advantage in the playoffs by winning out, no matter what the Rams do, because they beat LA back in week nine.

They can win the NFC South as early as next weekend should they beat the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday Night Football and the Carolina Panthers continue their 2018 tradition of losing close games to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

And yes, I know the Rams and Chiefs both could be more potent offences on their day and there is no defence better in the NFL than the Chicago Bears this season, but three-quarters of the way through the season it’s so easy to see Drew Brees lift the Vince Lombardi in Atlanta come the first weekend of February.

And the double on the Warriors and Saints for both to emerge as world champions? Less than 6/1.

Subscribe to our new podcast, Heineken Rugby Weekly on The42, here:

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article
  •  

About the author:

Steve O'Rourke

Read next:

COMMENTS (3)

This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel