Can the Saints "Tune Out the Chatter"?
Have the New Orleans Saints been able to “tune out the chatter” while preparing to meet their arch-nemesis?
The New Orleans Saints are “on a roll” by winning six-straight games. The team will head into the final 8 games of the regular season. There has been a continuous buzz around the Saints this season. The team is “on a roll” by winning six-straight games and are being regarded as one of the best teams in the NFL. However, as many witnessed on Sunday, no matter the buzz around a team, another team is waiting to destroy your plans.
NFL writers, odds makers, and experts can attempt to predict the Saints’ Super Bowl prospects, they must be able to “tune out the chatter”, as Packers QB Aaron Rodgers mentioned to reporters after their lost to the LA Chargers. This team in New Orleans has that ability. Think back to what they accomplished after losing Brees and winning 5 games under Bridgewater’s leadership.
The New England Patriots were undefeated going into their battle with AFC North leaders Baltimore Ravens. Bill Belichick, Tom Brady, and the best defense (through eight games in 2019) could not lose to 2nd year QB Lamar Jackson and the Ravens, right? Think again. The Ravens tested the Pats defense, the Lamar Jackson and the offense was physical, Ravens defense was aggressive, and by their performance, believed they could win at home versus the Patriots. And, they won.
New Orleans can learn from all the above teams and “tune out the chatter.” During their bye week, players visited old stomping grounds, were guests on television shows, attended high-profile college and professional games, Tweeted and Instagramed photos and videos, but now it’s time to get back to work. Implementing the game plan and paying attention to the details. All the social media and sports writers praise for the Saints must be blocked-out of their conscious. The team’s focus will be on defeating their NFC South foe and most-hated rival, the Atlanta Falcons.
With rivalries, records do not matter. The Saints, Falcons, and their fan bases have a deep disdain and hatred for one another. No matter where each team is positioned in the NFL, their team must win one or both of their regular season contests. The Saints have the advantage in this first match between the two teams in 2019. New Orleans is at home, the Mercedes-Benz Superdome will be loud, the fans will be thirsty for blood against the Dirty Birds, and Brees’ return last week to the Saints offense has given opponents more cause for concern. A game of this magnitude is about the hunger. The passion. The focus. Who wants it more? Which team will have the singleness of purpose, execute the game plan, and WIN?
Will the New Orleans Saints dominate the Falcons as they have most opponents this season? Will the Matt Ryan and the Falcons smell a bid for an upset in the Dome? Can the Saints Defense continue to crush opposing offenses game plans? Will Payton, Brees, and the Saints vanquish Atlanta or get a wake-up call in the wake of all the chatter?