New Orleans Saints: Why Anything Short of 16-0 Would Mean Failure

Boris GodzinevskiCorrespondent IIDecember 1, 2009

NEW ORLEANS - NOVEMBER 30: Quarterback Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints throws the ball in the first quarter of the game against the New England Patriots at Louisana Superdome on November 30, 2009 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

It's not every season you see two teams start 11-0. Actually it has never happened. So to think 16-0 is a must might be a bit too critical, looking at the facts, the '09 Saints have more than just the pressure of going undefeated due to the fact alone.

The remaining five games are against the Skins, Falcons, Cowboys, Bucs and Panthers.

They will be favored in all of those games, as they should be.

They have beaten their strongest competitors by wide margins, while coming back to beat average teams, almost in a guilty fashion. Their strongest opponent, right now, is the Cowboys. The game will be in New Orleans. The Cowboys almost lost to the Skins, while Romo licks dirt past November as we all know.

But there is a larger focus on 16-0, whenever any team starts off this good the reasoning behind playing for a win becomes less and less. The 11-0 Colts need only win two more games to clinch the first seed in the AFC, the Saints have no such luxury. They have to look at the Favre lead Vikings at 10-1. For going 15-1 in any other season would mean first place in the Conference, this year it may not be enough. Indeed the Vikings are a phantom tripping call away from undefeated themselves. While their remaining five games are against tougher opponents in the Cardinals and Bengals next two week and they will be favored to win both.

Like the 1998 Broncos, the road is clear, the Saints need only to drive through it without hitting a pothole and smashing into the side ditch.

Not to mention their 407 points on offense is set to end in the Top Three all time, first if they can average 37 points a game.

So with all this in mind, a 15-1 finish might mean second place in the NFC, and a visit to Minnesota come January.