Thursday, February 4, 2010

Where Will History Place a Champion Saints Team?

There has been a lot of talk about the place of the 2009 Colts in the history books if they win Super Bowl XLIV, but what place would a Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints team hold in the record books?

Similar to Indianapolis the Saints started off the season incredibly hot, getting off to a 13-0 start before losing back to back games to the Cowboys and Bucs (their backups lost a third straight game to the Panthers) to finish the season 13-3. Unlike Indianapolis, the Saints actually tried to win in their two losses, but like Indianapolis there is no questioning who the best team in the Saints conference was in 2009.

It's rare to have a situation where two teams in one Super Bowl are playing each other for the spot of "best single season team of the decade," but that may be exactly what is on the line in Super Bowl XLIV. A lot of attention has been drawn to the 14-0 Colts, with their four time MVP quarterback and various other Hall of Fame players, but similar stories could be written about the 13-0 New Orleans Saints. Both teams have had exceptional seasons with about a dozen trademark moments on the field.

The 2009 Saints, if they beat Indianapolis, would have beaten the AFC #1 seed, the NFC #2 seed, and the defending NFC champion to win a franchises first Vince Lombardi trophy. With that sort of resume it will be difficult to keep the 2009 New Orleans Saints out of the top two Super Bowl champions of decade, behind maybe the 2004 New England Patriots. The Saints dominant offense would give the team a trademark unit, and their defense has enough of a face in Jonathan Vilma and Darren Sharper to give the 2009 Saints plenty of recognition in the history books. Not to mention a Super Bowl victory would put Drew Brees in the same sentence as Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, at least for now.

We can talk for hours about what a win would do for the legacy of this Indianapolis Colts team, but the truth of the matter is, the game means just as much to the Saints. Though I honestly feel that the Colts have a much heavier boulder on their backs, I can't neglect the fact that this game means almost as much for a team that started 13-0.

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