The New Orleans Saints’ next game against the New England Patriots at New England will be the second part of a two-game road trip that began last week against the Chicago Bears. The Saints were able to revise some recent history at Soldier Field after having lost two regular season contests there in 2007 and 2008, as well as a 2006 loss in the NFC Championship game.
With that victory over the Bears last week, New Orleans was able to get over a big hurdle. Sure, head coach Sean Payton was back in command after his year-long suspension for the Bounty Gate Scandal, but could the Saints leave behind the energetic Merdeces-Benz Superdome and compete on the road? Last week the 31 other teams in the NFL got a partial answer. Yes, they can.
A loss to Chicago would not have been detrimental to New Orleans’ postseason hopes; the Atlanta Falcons lost at home to the New York Jets and the previously unbeaten Seattle Seahawks felt the sting of their first loss to the Indianpolis Colts. Nor do I believe that it would have adversely affected their ability to compete on the road for a second-straight week. Payton strikes me as a guy who hates to lose, especially twice in a row.
But alas, the Saints were able to come away with a win against the Bears and now have the only perfect record thus far in the NFC heading into Week six. The Saints have also popped up on the radar of several analysts, as they currently occupy the No. 2 spot in the power rankings from ESPN, CBS, NBC’s ProFootball Talk and FOX Sports.
If New Orleans can manage another win on the road against the Patriots they might even be listed as the best team in football right now, as the Denver Broncos upcoming game against the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars is unlikely to improve their standings any further.