Saints Can’t Write Better-Ending Story to Their 7-1 Start


Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

An amazing thing happened to the New Orleans Saints on their way to a (7-1) win-loss record, a two-and-a-half game lead in the NFC South Division, and the current #2 overall Playoff seed in the National Football Conference.

But it happened to be something that the prognosticators and soothsayers that cover the National Football League on a daily basis, simply never saw coming: a team, an organization, a rabidly-passionate fan-base, and a whole community banded together and rallied behind its injured leader and helped will the franchise to five straight victories in their hero’s nearly six week absence.

The end result is that a group of individuals who were all once “left for dead” in the figurative sense, are now earning praise for their willingness to continue fighting and maintaining success, in spite of the incredible odds that were seemingly stacked against them.

Now with their leader back in the fold as the team heads into their week off, and the opportunity to enjoy a brief rest before the second half of the 2019 NFL season, that same team with the fleur-de-lis on their helmets has moved one step closer to obtaining the goal they’ve had all along: winning the Super Bowl.

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If there would ever be a Hollywood movie made about the New Orleans Saints’ 2019 Season up to this point, then the team can’t write a better-ending story than the one that’s being written at this moment.

“This just builds confidence, right? No matter what situation we get in, this team has a chance. And when you believe that, you trust that, it gives you a lot of confidence,” Saints’ QB Drew Brees told reporters in the post-game press conference following the team’s 31-9 win over the visiting Arizona Cardinals.

Brees shook off some early rust before he went on to eventually complete 34-out-of-43 passes for 373 yards and three touchdowns, along with one interception.

“It felt really good,” the 19-year veteran continued in his remarks.”The last five weeks have been tough. I had a lot of excitement early on today, just shaking rust off. I love the game and love to be able to be out there with my team-mates … that was my motivation to get back out there.”

Brees said that yesterday’s contest was one that he had targeted for his return early in his recovery from the torn thumb ligament that he suffered in the team’s only loss to the Los Angeles Rams in Week #2. That was despite initial observations that he would be out much longer.

“This was the week I had in my mind to come back when I got hurt,” Brees said. “I think it’s going to be okay. I haven’t been reckless. Everybody felt I was good to go.”

“We talked about this decision, and we really just paid attention to the doctors,” Saints’ head coach Sean Payton said. “We weren’t going to be careless with it.”

Brees basically confessed to reporters that it was tough for him to not be out on the football field for the past several weeks, without being surrounded by his teammates.

He also reiterated that he never once considered waiting until the upcoming Week #10 contest at home against Atlanta (in two weeks from now) following the team’s Bye week (which starts officially today), to return to game-action.

“I’m a football player,” Brees said. “A lot of it was excitement. As game time approached, it turned into gratitude and grateful for the opportunity to get back out there again. (I’m) grateful for this team and for this moment and being able to have this moment. I feel like there are a lot of great moments ahead.”

And great moments for the Saints, who now will enter into the halfway point of the regular season on a six-game winning streak, clearly appear to lay ahead for a team that was thought to be over and done with a little over a month ago.

Brees is back, and apparently he could be even better than was before the injury that many thought was nothing short of a full catastrophe. Given where things stand at the moment, with New Orleans now being able to remain among the best teams in the NFL, it’s nothing short of a miracle.

In all honesty, the Saints can’t write a better ending to the final part of a story that began with a 7-1 start.


Barry Hirstius is a semi-retired journalist, who has worked as a sports editor and columnist. Barry is a New Orleans native who grew up as a fan of the Saints while attending games as a young boy at the old Tulane Stadium. He is the proud Grandfather of two beautiful young girls, Jasmine and Serenity. Follow him on Twitter: @BarryHirstius

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