The True Dat on Who Dat – Wildcard Weekend Boo-Hoo

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Absorb these OFFSETTING notes right off the bat:

1. The Saints have not won on the road in their small playoff window history & the Saints are a dome team. In the playoffs, dome teams playing in temperatures below 35 degrees on the road are 3-22.


2. Here’s a look at Brees playoff stats “OUTDOORS” the past 4 years:

2011 @ SF – 40/63; 462 Yds; 4 TD, 2 Int’s
2010 @ Sea – 39/60; 404 Yds; 2 TD, 0 Int’s (With 0 Running Backs)
2009 @ Super Bowl – 32/39; 288; 2 TD, 0 Int’s

THAT’S: 111/162; 1154 Yds; 8 TD, 0 Int’s
THAT’S: Completion %: 68.5;
THAT’S: Avg. Yds Per Pass: 10.4

I Hate the Holidays

I despise the holidays! Nothing good ever happens.

Ad nausea rotation of Christmas carols until I lose sleep, my wallet becomes bare, credit cards max’d out, Christmas tree creating a mess and now drier than a reused dryer sheet for me to clean up.

Wishing everyone would get their butts back to school and work so I can have some peace and quiet to meditate any reasons whatsoever that the New Orleans Saints will shed their inept and hopeless road trippin’ selves.

But I can’t, and they won’t!

And now I am penning this dribble while I charge the battery on a frozen “won’t start” jalopy of a car, just to get out of the driveway away from the chaos to do the above-mentioned.

Ma & Pa

My late Pa would always say: “Hope for the best, but plan for the worst!” That works me!

And after a few decades have past, I learned that my Ma always bet against my Little League team during playoffs and championship runs. That is a little sadistic, but to be honest, it worked. We won several championships when she did.

As a result, I subscribe to the theory, “ride the fence till your crotch hurts!” If you’re the eternal “two feet on greener grass uppity sad sack optimist”, and you lose, your butt is twice as sore when you fall.

Superstitions Lead (Past Tense) The Way

As of the past month and a half, traditional but insanely stupid, senseless and irrational Saints superstitions have as much chance of working as I do cutting carbs on gameday eats.

i. When the Saints are facing a third down, I tilt my Saints hat to the left;
ii. When we need a big defensive stop, I hang that very hat on the right side of the MacBook;
iii. During playoff games, I hang my Who Dat Nation Super Bowl championship banner over the back of the couch on the right side;
iv. When I need to sway luck in my favor “big-time”, I do a pot of Gumbo Ya-Ya and serve it with Crystal’s Hot Sauce (from the Saints Super Bowl commemorative bottle); and if down at half, I yell at my wife and/or kids for no reason whatsoever before I head back to my couch.

Last time any of these childish rituals worked was during the “right the ship” butt-woopin the Saints handed Cam Newton many weeks ago. It ain’t working no mo!

So I quit that crap. Like many of my Who Dat Nation soldiers, I have become a fatalist.


The “Why’s” and “How’s” of a Season-Ending Saturday Night

I feel compelled to compose a short novel, even if just for self-therapy. But I won’t. Why?

In just 6 weeks, the Saints have transposed from a beautiful and classy comeback blonde beauty queen with great teeth, tanned legs, gorgeous eyes, a great home life, and interpersonal skills that would mama proud – into a manic depressive dual personality homely girl with halitosis and a mustache, who is just as likely to attempt suicide or cry uncontrollably for no reason whatsoever.

The Punch Drunk Season

I can dispel copious amount of misconception; show trends; recollect just how Who Dat Nation arrived here.

I won’t, but just give you a reminder snapshot of this “what just hit me” season:

First 2 games: played well enough to squeal out wins on last play, happy to be 2-0
Next 3 games: looked like old selves, happy to be 5-0
New England: showed, like past years, how to lose NOLA style… and commencing hatred for zebras
Next 7 games: again, looked like Super Bowl year, except vs. NYJ
Seattle: beat down of epic proportions, but we passed it off as an anomaly
Carolina: granted all Who Dat well-wishers and smacked the smirk off Cam’s face
St. Louis: looked like Vegas backroom bookie got to them and crapped the bed
Carolina: Who was dat? Lame offence, and a wimpy “me no put no foot on throat” Sean Payton. Huh?
Finale: beatdown of Tampa @ home….. meaningless


Blemishes and So-Whats

So here are some season-ending bullet points on why this will be the last True Dat on Who Dat this season:

Saints Blemishes:

– Were outscored on the road by almost 5 pts/game, and avg’d just under 18 pts/game
– Are 0-6 ATS on the road in their last 6 games, and with a -2.5 Vegas line that ain’t moving, Mickey Bet-head in Las Vegas ain’t about to move it either, as both the smart $ and Joe Average ain’t buying
– Have Safety Roman Safety to lean on (use that word lightly), and outside of Harper as a run-stopper which they will need, he can’t cover a Pop Warner wannabe (Vaccaro, before the broken leg, was they key spoke in the Ryan wheel). There is no possible way for Ryan to mask this.
– Have been deceptive in the pass rush dept. Jordan, Hicks and Galette have disappeared on the road, equal to the disappearance of the Saints record-setting offence.
– Their equalizer, best at everything multi-purpose soldier Pierre Thomas is OUT for this game.
– Their once stellar hogs on the O-Line are in sad shape, and their porous play has led to the degradation of Bree’s road woes

The Saints “So-Whats”:

1. A fallacy exits about Brees failure in cold weather, where IN FACT – in temps under 40 F, he averages 65% completions and a 2 to 1 TD to pick ratio…But NOT THIS YEAR with an O Line like that.
2. Offenses, like the Cowboys and Whitten LAST WEEK have torched the Eagles pass D and their absentee safeties (Pat Chung who is a D+ at best fills in for Wolffe who is questionable…But the Saints have yet to take advantage of the Jimmy Graham mismatches in more than 7 games this year – not the normal Graham productions, but game changing productions of Total Yards and Total Touchdowns (part of that problems leads directly into the next point)
3. The Saints have only 6 turnovers this month…But that has not translated into wins, and in Wild Card weekend where it’s the second biggest factor, again the fact could be mute
4. “Strength of Schedule and Victory” means a lot. Consider that the Saints had the league’s 3rd toughest schedule, tougher than anyone still playing. And they had the best Strength of Victory in the NFC. Last year’s champs the Ravens had the toughest schedule + the 2011 Champs the Giants had the 2nd toughest in NFC and best Strength of Victory + the 2010 Super Bowl Packers had the toughest schedule + the 2008 Steelers had the same….But you can throw all logic out the window with this Saints Jekyll and Hyde outfit. Its been said: “ crazy sh** will happen, it’s just who it will happen too, and that’s usually to the 2013 Saints.
5. You have a Texas Westlake legend in Drew Brees who’s a consummate 5k/yr. NFL vet and future HOF’er, playing another Westlake legend in Foles who’s carving apart the NFL in efficiency – THIS YEAR. You also have a Super Bowl winning QB playing a QB who has not taken an NFL playoff snap, nor had a full season under center. Foles gives us a small sample to assess from, but its under a revolutionary offensive schematic from Chip Kelly and with an MVP-like running back in Shady McCoy (my pick at the start of the year for MVP).
6. Philly is 3-10-1 ATS against teams with winning records in the last 14 games…But Philly has won 7 of the last 8 (5-3 ATS)

The Momentum Fallacy

You may buy into the MOMENTUM Fallacy, ya know – teams get hot at the right time will blah blah blah.

That is nothing but a bunch of crap. See last year’s SB Champs who lost 3 of 4 heading in, or the Saints SB Run 3 years ago where they lost 3 consecutive games after starting 13-0.

Only If:

I’d be thinking differently about the Saints if:

Matt Ryan’s center hadn’t had that errant snap as the Falcons were getting in range for a winning FG to hand the Saints the 2nd seed and home field and a buy….

Speedster Joe Morgan – who led the NFL in yds. Per catch last year – hadn’t gone down in preseason, Brees would be able to stretch the field another 4 to 6 yards allowing Colston, Moore and of course Graham to all-in-all own centerfield of bad Eagles secondary. Ultimately, it might have been a glittering reflection of different season on the road.

I had not washed my Who Dat banner after Game 5.

B-Bye Now:

Alot of reasons are here to think yourself to death on this game. But I will go with my Ma here –  and I’m betting against the Saints. I will make sure the beer is cold and food is good. But like a bad blind date set up by your second cousin, the girl arriving Saturday night in Philly will be so ugly that she should shave her butt, pull down her pants and walk backwards, right into the off-season.

I usually say, ”Keep The Drinks Cold, The Grill Hot, and We’ll See you In The Parking Lot!”

But will leave you with…

“Throw Solid Bricks at the Screen, and Do It For A Good Reason, and We’ll See All Ya Who Dats in the Off-Season!”

Gridiron Who Dat Tailgater – Doc


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photo credit: Tom Pumphret via photopin cc