Saints holiday season recap

Joe Bellott, Contributing Writer

Bear with me here. According to the original story, Santa has eight reindeer. Drew Brees has 10. The difference isn’t in the number, but the contribution of these “reindeer.” Let’s assume there are five offensive linemen reindeer, one tight end reindeer, one running back reindeer and three wide receiver reindeer. These three wide receiver reindeer are named Michael Thomas, Ted Ginn Jr. and TreQuan Smith. Michael is dragging his two fellow reindeer. OK, enough with the metaphors, but seriously, it was not outrageous to open up with such a circus of words.

           The Saints have defeated the Panthers and the Falcons in the past two weeks. The Panthers game came down to the wire. It looked like it was a definite win for the Panthers but the Saints have had luck fall their way throughout the season, and probably more than ever in this game. Panthers kicker Joey Slye missed an elementary level 28-yard field goal with just under two minutes left on the clock. The Saints got the ball at their 14-yard line. The probability of scoring this far in their territory is next to 10 percent, according to a study done by Ph.D. football.

           What’s to say this season isn’t destiny? Perhaps it is. After the Panthers game, the Saints got more of that luck in the Atlanta game. Younghoe Koo, the kicker of the Atlanta Falcons, kicked three successful onside kicks. Two of those kicks were ill tries because of penalties, but the third one was just barely recovered by the Saints. Heading into this Sunday, the Saints will need more luck than those two games combined. Hopefully, they play their best ball in this one as they face the premier team of the NFL, the San Francisco 49ers.

           The Saints and 49ers have some rich history as of late. Since 2011, the 49ers are 3 and 2 against the Saints. The first of those wins came in 2011 in the NFC Divisional playoff game. That game hurt the Saints and the fan base. A late score by tight end Vernon Davis sealed the win for the 49ers late. Another great tight end comes in town this Sunday, by the name of George Kittle. He alone has more yards than all four of the supporting receivers of the Saints. This game will very likely show the Achilles heel of the Saints, the receiving core.

           Yes, we all love Michael Thomas. But do we love the rest of the receivers? I don’t. Yay, they’re Saints, but I want to win the Superbowl. The 49ers are the best team the Saints will face until the playoffs begin. For support of the take of the Saints receiver, I would like to put things in perspective. This year’s supporting cast (every receiver besides Mike) has amassed 468 yards through the first 11 games. So how many yards did the Saints supporting cast (every receiver besides Colston) amass through their first 11 games? 1,366 yards. Let that sink in. And, oh yeah, the NFL average for total yards put up by supporting cast of receivers is roughly 1100 yards. Pathetic.

           But I still believe in the Saints. With Drew steering the sleigh and reindeer big enough to drag those reindeer not helping Drew, it’s possible. Sean Payton is a big reason for the success. He’s shown he can win with anyone. Teddy Bridgewater worked great under the direction of the Saints coaching staff. With the Saints at home against the NFL’s best team, the players should play to their potential. Cam Jordan got a league-high, four sacks last Thursday. Saints 35 49ers 28.