The New Orleans Saints announced the 2013 schedule this week, and it looks like we have our share of challenges. You can download a PDF of the new schedule here
Here is my quick prediction on wins vs losses.
Aug. 9 - vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Aug. 16 - vs. Oakland Raiders
Aug. 25 - at Houston Texans
Aug. 29 - at Miami Dolphins
Regular Season (Prediction)
Sept. 8 - vs. Atlanta Falcons (W)
Sept. 15 - at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (W)
Sept. 22 - vs. Arizona Cardinals (W)
Sept. 30 - vs. Miami Dolphins (W)
Oct. 6 - at Chicago Bears (W)
Oct. 13 - at New England Patriots (L)
Oct. 20 - BYE
Oct. 27 - vs. Buffalo Bills (W)
Nov. 3 - at New York Jets (W)
Nov. 10 - vs. Dallas Cowboys (W)
Nov. 17 - vs. San Francisco 49ers (L)
Nov. 21 - at Atlanta Falcons (L)
Dec. 2 - at Seattle Seahawks (W)
Dec. 8 - vs. Carolina Panthers (W)
Dec. 15 - at St. Louis Rams (L)
Dec. 22 - at Carolina Panthers (W)
Dec. 29 - vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (L)
Final WhoDat DC Prediction - 11 - 5. Wild
More discussion on each game to follow.
I love how Herm Edwards squashed the whole "Is Joe Flacco elite" conversation.
"In my elite group, there's only four," he said on ESPN Radio's Colin Cohwherd show. "There's not five. There's not six. There's not seven.
"There's Rogers. There's Brady. There's Brees. And Manning, the older brother. Nothing else."
I hear that. Every quarterback who experiences some success can't be elite, or none of them are elite.
Just winning a Super Bowl doesn't make you elite.
Consistency makes you elite. Winning the Super Bowl one year and not making the playoffs the next year is not elite behavior. We all know that's how the Giants roll.
Having a great rookie year like Russel Wilson doesn't make you elite. Cam Newton,anyone? Breakout rookie year. One year later he was babbling about putting out a suggestion box to tell him what was wrong with his team.
Here's the true test of elite consistency. The opposing team is up by five points and a QB gets the ball with a minute left on the clock. Which QBs are as good as money?
Rogers, Brady, Brees, and Manning - the older brother.
Doesn't mean some of the others aren't good or won't get there. They aren't there yet.
Coach Herm said it right.
A buddy of mine posted on Facebook, "I wish the Paternos would just go away.
Everyone understands why Jay Paterno would want to wage a campaign to clear his father's name, but the way Jay is going about it has got to be the least effective.
Just when we thought we had moved on, here comes Jay telling us to relive the JoePa scandal and ignore everything our common sense tells us.
He spent almost an hour with ESPN Radio's Mike and Mike and another segment with Colin Cowherd. That's what I heard.
The Takeaway: JoePa didn't know as much as we thought, and when he did know, he took all the legal actions required of him.
Nobody believes JoePa didn't know what was happening on his team. Nobody believes that just because he can shield himself with his legal actions, he didn't actively and willfully sacrifice those kids in the name of Penn State.
A Jay Paterno study won't change my mind. Just go away.
If the Who Dats aren't winning the Super Bowl, there are only few other teams I could really celebrate. Fortunately, one of them won last night.
Congrats to the Baltimore Ravens for outplaying and outlasting the San Francisco 49ers.
Baltimore pounced early and often, and had it not been for the blackout, might have well routed the 49ers.
San Francisco surged late, as we expected, but they weren't in Atlanta. The Ravens weren't going to roll over like the Falcons did.
I'm glad to see Ray Lewis go out with a championship. He has been the face of the franchise for so long, it seems fitting. To end the game with a goal line stand is also another fitting tribute.
I'm not buying into the Flacco elite hype machine. ESPN seems eager to induct every hot quaterback into elite status.
Sure winning a Super Bowl is the ultimate accomplishment for any football player, but I'm still not sure I'd invite Flacco into the neighborhood of Brees, Mannings, Brady, and Rogers after one memorable year. He's not in that company, and the new crowd of Griffin III, Luck, Kaepernick, and Wilson are looking younger, faster, stronger.
I'm thinking he should get his money from the Ravens now. Lord only knows how long his party will last.
New Orleans don't you dare hang your head because of the unfortunate blackout. The city was the ultimate host, in a way that only the Big Easy can. You made me homesick, and you did us proud.
They'll figure out what went wrong with the power. I doubt it will ever happen again now. It might have helped produce a more competitive game. Stuff happens. It ain't the city's fault. I'll take a half-hour blackout in the Super Dome over a flawless game in Buffalo or Cleveland any day of the week.
And now begins the 2013 season. Laissez les bons temps rouler!
This just in. According to Pat Yasinkas' NFC South blog, Roger Goodell Just announced that Saints fans were innocent in the so-called bounty scandal.
“I understand fans' loyalty is to the team," Goodell said. “They had no part in this. They were completely innocent in this. So I appreciate the passion. I saw that for myself when we were down here for [Hurricane] Katrina. It’s clear that's what they’re all about. I support the fact they’re passionate."
I'm so glad that he realizes the Saints fans are innocent as he continues to withhold our 2nd round draft picks. I hope he gets some extra "seasoning" in his Gumbo this weekend.Read the ESPN post
Saw this guy photo bombing the Mike and Mike ESPN Radio show. I think he sums up the sentiments of the Who Dat Nation.
With all due respect to Coach Sean Payton and Mayor Mitch Landrieu, this Saints fan isn't ready to give NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell a pass and welcome him to New Orleans with open arms. I understand why Sean, Mitch and others have to say it. They are trying to get in the commissioner's good graces and keep New Orleans in contention for future Super Bowls.
They have to say it. That doesn't mean I have to go along with it.
Honestly, I resent being told that Saints fans ought to be on their best behavior for the commissioner.
He single-handedly ruined the Saints season with his knee-jerk response to his so-called bounty investigation. I think reasonable people can all look back objectively and agree that on some level, Goodell overreacted.
I don't want to retry the entire bounty saga here. That's not my point. I think I speak for the majority of Saints fans when I say that we have concluded that Goodell's actions were overboard and unfair.
Sean Payton was reinstated (a little early), the players' suspensions were vacated, and Vilma's law suits were set aside.
Everyone in the saga had their issues dealt with except the fans. We saw our team, perennial playoff contenders, reduced to a frustrated mess. We were robbed of having our team legitimately contend for a championship on our home field.
We should have had a legitimate shot to be playing for the championship this week, but we didn't. And it's all because of the actions of one man.
He has never said a kind word to the New Orleans fans throughout this whole saga. Never wished out loud that the fans who buy the tickets and jerseys that support the NFL financially were unfairly affected by his decision.
He wants to punish Tom Benson and Sean Payton, we can debate that.
The season ticket holders who saw the value of their investment decrease didn't do anything to warrant that. Show them some respect.
I can't help but believe if the commissioner had found the same evidence in New England, Dallas, New York (either team), San Francisco, Green Bay or any of the other cherished franchises, the outcome might have been different. He might not have had such a heavy handed response.
But no, Saints fans, he chose New Orleans to make an example.
Sean Payton may have to kiss the commissioner's ring, but the fans don't have to show him the respect we have yet to receive.
If I owned a restaurant, I wouldn't serve Roger Goodell.
If I drove a cab, I would not pick him up from any curb in the French Quarters.
If I was a street musician, I'd end my set until he left.
If I was on a float hurling Mardi Gras throws, I'd make sure he got nothing.
I would not go out of my way to treat him with any more respect or dignity than he treated the fans of the New Orleans Saints.
I am unapologetic about that...as he his about his decision.
After that thrashing in Denver Sunday night, WhoDats might have come to the inevitable conclusion that the Saints won’t be hosting the Super Bowl at home this year.
What’s the next best option? Based on the trajectory of the season so far, I think a Manning vs. Manning Super Bowl could happen. Think about that. Two New Orleans natives playing for the championship under the retired banner of their father -- in the Superdome where he labored.
ESPN would have a field day. Eli could get three rings and Peyton lose his second in the same night. Or Peyton would vanquish his little brother to even the score. Plenty of drama either way. What a dilemma for Archie.
If we can’t see Drew raise the Lombardi, why not a Manning? Who Dats, what do you think? Which Manning would you want?
'Now it's up to the Saints defense...'
I don't remember when I heard the announcer say that, but I know I cringed. It felt too much like the way we ended last season.
Things were supposed to be different with a new defense coordinator, they told us. But watching RGIII complete his first eight passes effortlessly -- the last for an 88 yard touchdown -- felt like deja vu all over again. This was Spags, but the same old defense.
And yet... the Saints were within six points at half and still in it mathematically down to the last play.
Interim x2 Coach Kromer - Is it me or did Coach Kromer look like he had no sideline presence? His play calling was decent, but I want a head coach to also have presence. When you get a penalty for too many men on the field because you have a player jogging off the field, shouldn't you be visibly in SOMEBODY's face? Putting your foot in SOMEBODY's ass? He looked catatonic to me. Maybe that's his personality, but I wanted to see more personality.
Ugly all around - In all fairness, the Saints were ugly on both sides of the ball. Drew Brees sputtered with a row of three and outs as well as a couple of picks. Colston dropped passes and fumbled. It kept going. Or not going.
RG III is The Truth - He made it look too easy. It was like he was still playing a college team. I tried to find comfort in remembering Griffin is actually from New Orleans, but it didn't dull the pain much. You had to give him his respect due. RG III played like a seasoned pro.
Brees still = Hope - As long as Drew Brees has the ball in the final minutes, we still have hope. We still sit on the edge of our seats. We still expect him to deliver a victory. And for $100 million, we're entitled to feel that way.
'Penalties were the difference'? - That's what Coach Kromer said. I must admit I almost threw my iPad at the TV at the the defensive offside in the second quarter -- especially following two false starts in a row in the first quarter. In the final tally, the Saints were penalized 12 times for 107 yards, but the Redskins where penalized even more. That's not the difference, coach.
We were ready for the comeback story - I think the country was ready for the Saints comeback story, especially after the so-called bounty case started unravelling. With the suspensions overturned on Friday and a home field season opener, even the haters at ESPN were giving the Saints love. All they had to do was make the layup. Now they look suspect.
It's only one week. - We did lose the first game of the season last year, yet went on to a 13-3 record. That's what Drew Brees wants us to remember. What he doesn't want us to remember is that they were playing the reigning Superbowl champions, and the Saints battled them until the end.
I remember that game, too. In the end, it was up to the Saints defense... I cringed then, too.
Now the Vilma saga gets interesting. The NFL is offering to reduce the suspension
to 8 games if Vilma drops the lawsuit.
What should he do? WWL Radio asked Saints fans on their website. As of this morning when I cast my ballot, 71 percent said the Vilma should decline while 29 percent think he should agree.
I cast my vote on Vilma declining. Outside of the general negotiation principle of not accepting the first offer (assuming this is), why would he take it? If none of the facts in the case have changed, and the NFL is willing to give in by half, I'm guessing they want to stay out of court enough to give up more.
Besides, just as much as playing football, Vilma wants to clear his name. How can the NFL clear Vilma's name yet still punish him at all? Perhaps say the punishment is for the pay for performance and not injure. Who knows.
The WhoDats have weighed in and think this is not the NFL's final offer.
Note: Here's what the NFL said about Jonathan Vilma on their May 2, 2012 announcement of the suspension:
Linebacker Jonathan Vilma of the Saints is suspended without pay for the 2012 NFL season, effective immediately per league policy for season-long suspensions. The investigation concluded that while a captain of the defensive unit Vilma assisted Coach Williams in establishing and funding the program. Multiple independent sources also confirmed that Vilma offered a specific bounty -- $10,000 in cash – to any player who knocked Arizona quarterback Kurt Warner out of the 2009 Divisional Playoff Game and later pledged the same amount to anyone who knocked Minnesota quarterback Brett Favre out of the 2009 NFC Championship Game the following week (played on January 24, 2010). Vilma is eligible to be reinstated after the Super Bowl in 2013.