Tuesday Night Thoughts: Who Will Break First, Saints or Colts?

Joe WillettSenior Writer IDecember 2, 2009

NEW ORLEANS - NOVEMBER 30: Darren Sharper #42 of the New Orleans Saints celebrates his interception in the fourth quarter against the New England Patriots at Louisana Superdome on November 30, 2009 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Saints won the game 38-17. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Welcome to my new weekly column, this will be published every Tuesday night, and it will be called Tuesday Night Thoughts.

I will be focusing on a big story from the week, then I will give my thoughts on some other big stories that are happening around sports.  For example, this week I will focus on the Saints and Colts both being 11-0, but then I will talk about Charlie Weis, Bobby Bowden, Tiger Woods, and Roy Halladay.

After those, I will give out a few awards for the week, mostly they will be humorous.  

Let's get on with our very first installment of Tuesday Night Thoughts.

Can Perfection Strike Twice?

In college football, there are perfect seasons all the time, in fact, there is almost always one team that goes undefeated every year.  However, in the pros, that happens a lot less often.

We were all shocked when the Patriots where able to magically go 16-0, and it took 50 Tom Brady touchdowns to get it, and even they couldn't grab the Lombardi Trophy.

But this season, there are two legitimate contenders for 16-0, the New Orleans Saints and the Indianapolis Colts.

First, we will talk about the Saints, as they have gone through their entire schedule without much of a scare.

The closest game that they had was against the Rams, in which they won 28-23.  Sure, they were tied at halftime, but they moved out to an 11-point lead before a garbage time TD by the Rams made it a five-point game.

Other than that, the Saints have won every game by double digits thanks to an offense that doesn't stop moving the ball and a defense that is great at getting takeaways.

Drew Brees has had six games with 300-plus passing yards and already has over 3000 yards on the season with five games to go.  He also has five games with at least three touchdowns and 27 on the season.

They also have a solid three-headed rushing attack, Pierre Thomas (648 yds and five TDs) has lead the team in rushing seven times, Mike Bell (564 yards, four TDs) has lead the team in rushing three times, and Reggie Bush (277 yards, 5 TDs) has lead the team in rushing once.

This means that teams never know how to defend the Saints rushing attack, having to prepare for all three rushers. This also means that defenses have to respect the run and allow Brees to be able to throw at will against most teams.

They also have some stars on defense.  Their defensive line is held down by Sedrick Ellis and Will Smith. Their secondary is highlighted by Darren Sharper, who has eight interceptions on the year.

The Saints have an easy schedule the rest of the way. They play two games against decent teams in the Falcons and the Cowboys, but they also play the Redskins, Buccaneers, and Panthers.

Without much of a challenge the rest of the way, the Saints have a solid opportunity to make it to 16-0 and make the Vikings visit Louisiana if they want to go to the Super Bowl.

The Colts also have a solid passing game that can leave teams wondering what just happened after a quick score.

Peyton Manning is widely considered the best QB of our time and one of the best of all time.  He has thrown for over 300 yards eight times this season and has only thrown for under 250 twice, never going under 200 yards in a game.

But unlike the Saints, they don't have the strong rushing attack.  Joseph Addai has just 583 yards and seven TDs.

The Colts offense relies more on their passing game, with three receivers over 500 yards receiving.  Coming into the season, everybody knew about Reggie Wayne (987 yards and nine TDs), but second-year receiver Pierre Garcon (574 yards, four TDs) has emerged as a solid second receiver for Manning.

There is also Manning's favorite tight end, Dallas Clark, who has been tearing it up again this season with 834 yards and five TDs on the season.

But there is more than just passing, they have a solid defense that has only allowed more than 20 points three times this season, while holding teams to 10 or fewer points three times.

The Colts have three straight tough games, going against the Titans, Broncos, and Jaguars. Although if they make it through those three games, they have the Jets and Bills left.

Their road to perfection will be much more difficult than that of New Orleans, however, they also have a lot of weapons to make it.

There is one more question that needs to be discussed when it comes to talking about these two teams: Will these two teams make it to the Super Bowl and who would win if they did?

Although I think that the Saints have a much better chance to make it to 16-0, they have a much harder road to the Super Bowl than the Colts, as they likely have to play Minnesota, who has one of the best running backs in the NFL and a quarterback who is playing with the body of a 22-year-old and the mind of a, well, 40-year-old.

The toughest challenge the Colts will have in the playoffs is New England, a team that both the Colts and the Saints have beaten.

But if we are lucky enough to have these two teams play each other in the Super Bowl, we will be treated to a game that will be a shoot-out and a back-and-forth contest throughout.

However, were they to play, I would have to give the edge to the Saints due to a more balanced offensive attack, even though the Colts, in my mind, have a better defense.

Roy Halladay Gives a Deadline

Roy Halladay has given the Blue Jays a deadline of Spring Training to complete a trade and get him out of there, however, he didn't say that they absolutely have to trade him.

Although Halladay wants to go to a contender, he doesn't want trade talks to sour his relationship with his teammates or his performance on the mound.  After last season's distraction, Halladay is trying to avoid a repeat.

Because of this, Halladay has specifically said that he wouldn't even discuss a trade after the offseason is over.

Charlie Weis Fired by Notre Dame

After losing four straight games, Charlie Weis has finally been booted by the Fighting Irish, who have really put up much less of a fight (get it?) since Weis has been in charge.

Under Weis, Notre Dame went 35-27, and now the time has begun for a search for the next guy to get run out of South Bend.

Although Irish fans want a big name like Urban Meyer or Bob Stoops, it is more likely that they will grab somebody from a smaller school like Brian Kelly out of Cincinnati.

Bobby Bowden Steps Down After 44 Years

If you are looking for a more distinguished college coaching career than Bowden's, you will have to look hard, as he took a Florida State program that was down on it's luck, and made them permanent contenders twice national champions.

Bowden was hoping to get another year at FSU, but after multiple bad seasons, it became clear that Bowden's style of coaching was no longer working.

Bowden leaves with the second most wins in college football history with 388. He trails only Joe Paterno of Penn State.

The Tiger Woods Saga

Tiger Woods has had a distinguished career on the golf course, but has never really revealed anything from his personal life.  This, however, may have to change in the coming days after a car accident that may or may not have been caused by a confrontation with his wife.

There are even questions as to whether the car accident was what caused the damage to Woods, or if it was in fact his wife.

As far as I'm concerned, I really don't think what caused the accident matters to us unless criminal actions have taken place.  That being said, I also really want to know what happened.  

I mean, I can be curious can't I?

Awards Time!!!

Bonehead Move of the Week : Keith Ballard, who was apparently angry with goalie Tomas Vokoun and showed that he was by hitting him in the face with his hockey stick after Vokoun allowed a goal.

Although I don't think he did so on purpose, it was pretty bad to watch and it was a pretty big bonehead move, it's really not that hard to watch where you swing your stick. Come on now.

The best part about the whole thing was when the announcer said, "Nobody in the building feels worse than Keith Ballard."  Yea, when I see somebody get jacked I feel so bad for the guy who hit the other guy, then I worry about the guy about to be taken off on a stretcher.

All-Star of the Week : Drew Brees. The man was playing a clearly outmatched Patriots defense, and it showed with his first half stats of 311 yards and four touchdowns.  He ended the game going 18-23 for 371 yards with five TDs.  He had a passer rating of 158.3, the highest rating possible.

Worst Player of the Week : Jake Delhomme. He has been awful all season, but somehow he can't get benched.  He tried to help the case to give Matt Moore some playing time by throwing no touchdowns and four interceptions against the Jets.

He also threw for just 130 yards on 14-34 passing and he dipped below his Week One passer rating of 14.7 (yea, that's right) with a new low of 12.7 (yea, thats also right) in his abysmal performance.

Question of the Week (answer in the comments) :

Which team is more likely to go 16-0, the Colts or the Saints, and why?

I'm Joe W.


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