I’m writing this letter to you on behalf of all Saints fans. I know it’s short notice since you are probably already loading up the sleigh for your trek in a few hours. But if it’s not too late, the Saints could use a Christmas miracle or two.
Well, actually, they need a whole lot more than one or two to make the playoffs for the first time since the 2013 season.
And, yeah, Santa, I already know what you’re about to ask me: "Have they been good or bad this year?"
Well, they’ve been a little bit of both.
There have been games when they were really good, particularly in victories over the Seattle Seahawks and the Los Angeles Rams. But there were also games when they were bad, like the Monday night game against the Atlanta Falcons and the loss to the Detroit Lions.
But the other games — the ones when the offense, defense or special teams didn’t play as well as the other two units — are what have the Saints in this position in the first place.
Ten of their 14 games have been decided by a touchdown or less, including six by three points or fewer. As you probably know, the Saints are 4-6 in those 10 close games.
So, Santa, you can see they haven’t been bad. In fact, if they had made just a play or two here or there (or played every game as if former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams were on the other sideline), I probably wouldn’t even have to bother you this season.
And if you’re making your list and checking it twice, like they say you do every year, I’m going to ask that you look past Nick Fairley’s costly unsportsmanlike conduct penalty against Kansas City and Mark Ingram not being able to control his emotions when he got into a shouting match on the sideline in last week’s win at Arizona.
And I’m not asking for your sympathy, but the folks here in New Orleans could use a little pick-me-up this week after Cameron Jordan and Drew Brees were left off the NFC Pro Bowl roster.
This wish list may seem long, but I’ve seen your work over the years, so I know you can probably help.
Some of the requests involve games that will already be finished before the Saints host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at 3:25 p.m. Saturday in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, so we need you to work fast. And some of these things carry over into the new year, so you may have to ask Mrs. Claus if she minds you working a little overtime next weekend.
In no particular order, the Saints need the following:
- The Washington Redskins lose to the Chicago Bears on Saturday and to the New York Giants next week.
- The Green Bay Packers lose to the Minnesota Vikings and the Detroit Lions.
- Tampa Bay loses to the Carolina Panthers next week.
OK, I’m a little embarrassed to ask you for this last one: The Saints also need the Bears to beat the Vikings in their finale.
Yes, I know asking for the Bears, who have won just three games all season, to win back-to-back games is probably a job for a much higher power than you. But, hey, it’s worth a shot.
By the way, you can disregard all of this if the Saints don’t take care of their own business and win their final two games (Saturday vs. Tampa Bay and Jan. 1 at Atlanta). I would’ve asked you to take care of that, too, but maybe the Saints will be good enough to take care of their part of the deal.
Well, Santa, that’s all for this year. Maybe next year, the Saints won’t need as much help from you.
But until then, happy holidays.