Fear Or Love: Colts and 'Aints Make Choice Obvious

WesAnalyst INovember 24, 2009

Niccolo Machiavelli once said, "It is better to be feared than loved, if you cannot be both.”

The Indianapolis Colts and New Orleans Saints would clearly answer love since neither team strikes fear into their opponent's heart.

Both teams are considered beatable even though no one in the league has managed to do it. So what's the deal?

The deal is that neither team is dominant week in and week out.

Sorry Colts and Saints fans, but your teams don't win with enough conviction. Too many times the Colts and Saints have been pushed to the brink by inferior opponents. And each team's defense has shown major weaknesses throughout the season.

As soon as teams see you are vulnerable, it is only a matter of time until you get exposed.

Go back to the 2007 undefeated New England Patriots.

They opened the year 8-0 and were blowing teams out. Without question, teams around the league feared the Patriots.

But then a funny thing started to happen. Teams began to challenge the Pats and there were times when they seemed beatable.

The Patriots were pushed to the brink by the Colts, Eagles, Ravens, and Giants.

Suddenly this once feared team was not so scary after all.

In the playoffs they won ugly against Jacksonville and San Diego. Ultimately the once-perfect Pats fell to the Giants in the Super Bowl.

The Colts and Saints have been teetering on defeat all season, which is odd for a pair of teams that are a combined 20-0.

Indianapolis opened the season at home with a two-point win over Jacksonville and then escaped with a four-point win on the road against Miami.

The last four wins have all been nail-biters and proved the Colts can be had.

Those four wins have come by a combined 10 points.

A 10-0 team that is feared does not win four games by the slimmest of margins. A feared team rolls opponents like San Francisco and Houston, especially when both games are at home.

They were big favorites in each of those games, and the Colts looked nothing short of ordinary.

Meanwhile the New Orleans Saints may have the worst schedule ever handed out to a 10-0 team.

Start at the top and you tell me where the marquee win is.

Detroit (nope), Philadelphia (without McNabb), Buffalo (not so much), New York Jets (complete frauds), New York Giants (riddled with injuries), Miami (is this it?), Atlanta (they are awful on the road), Carolina, St. Louis, and Tampa Bay (maybe next year one of them will be good).

Everyone thought this team was a world beater after the New York Giants game, and now they look like they worst 10-0 team ever created.

Look at what they've done since the game against the Giants.

They were getting their doors blown off by Miami, they struggled with a terrible road team in the Falcons, they were down big to Carolina, and they struggled with St. Louis.

Hello? Fear? Where are you?

Maybe it will show up when the Saints defense proves it can be a top 10 defense on a consistent basis and not get pushed around like a Pop-Warner team.

Until then the Saints will not even be considered the best team in the NFC.

Between you, me, and everyone else outside of New Orleans, it is known that the Minnesota Vikings would beat the Saints in the Metrodome, Superdome, Tokyo Dome, or any other dome you want to throw in there.

It's okay. When New England dismantles the 'Aints, order will be restored in the NFL.

To the Colts' credit, their defense is keeping the opposition out of the endzone and off the scoreboard as they lead the league in points allowed per game. Outside of that neither team's defense is ranked in the top-10 in any other major statistical category.

Where is the fear in that?

It is true that both offenses send shivers down the spines of any defensive coordinator, but the argument is not about the offense. The argument is about the team. And the last time I checked the defense is a part of your team.

Look at the Colts team that won the Super Bowl in 2006. That team was great because the offense played well and the defense played out of their minds.

In the three games leading up to the Super Bowl the Colts held every opponent under 250 yards passing and 100 yards rushing.

Out of the 20 games combined between Indy and Nawlins the feat has only been accomplished three times.

Call me a hater, doubter, biased fan, or a disgruntled S.O.B.

At the end of the day it does not matter what I am. It matters what your teams are not.

Machiavelli, you can disregard fear when talking about these clowns.



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