Week 16: Saints, Steelers – Observations from the (not so) cheap seats

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Observations: Part four

Sean Payton
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – DECEMBER 23: Head coach Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints reacts during the first half against the Pittsburg Steelers at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on December 23, 2018 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /

Coaches have a tough job, and have to make tough decisions, some which change the pace of the game. The Saints needed to have sent Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin a Christmas card. Thanks to the decision by Tomlin to fake a punt late in the game, the Saints got the ball back in great field position and went on the game winning drive. Many will question the play from that yardage (4th and 5). The play was great, our special teams was just up to the task. One more half yard and they get their first down and likely win the game. I don’t know that I’d have gone for it with 5 yards to gain, but the call made some sense, even though it was an enormous risk.

We’ve taken Ted Ginn, Jr. to task in columns on this site. Questionable hands have been the culprit. But Ginn was a welcome sight on the field Sunday. He sparked a resurgence by our WR’s who all seemed to make some critical catches. Welcome back, sir!

Taysom Hill. Nope, not going there.

And of course you’ve heard it other places, but it’s worth repeating, in the 2009 season when we won the Super Bowl, the teams we lost to were Dallas, Tampa Bay, and Carolina.

The Saints are now in the most enviable position in the NFL. They have clinched home field throughout the playoffs. All games have to come to the Superdome, and the Saints only need to win 2 more games to get to the Super Bowl.

Which brings us to Sunday’s game. We have no say-so in any decision making for the Saints. But if I did, I’d sit everyone I could. Yes, the Saints have an opportunity to make history, by winning 14 games. And there are several records of thought, including Brees needed a few yards to get to 4,000 for a 13th consecutive season. I might be tempted to sneak him out there just long enough to get it, then sit him for Teddy Bridgewater.

I would play as many reserves as I could, knowing there is only a 46-man game day roster. And this game should set a record for speed – we want to get on and off the field in the shortest amount of time possible. Lots of runs from Dwayne Washington and anyone stashed on the practice squad.

Next. Saints who sizzled and fizzled in Week 16 win. dark

The Carolina game means little but a couple of records. Forget that old “finish strong” mantra we had. We need to finish QUICKLY, and with no further injuries.