You know, fellow Birdz fans, like you probably were, I was initially confused about our game plan and how we played tonight. Yeah, we could complain about "missed red zone conversions", penalties killing us, BVG's stubborn insistence on using that wonderful zone D, etc. Admittedly I fell into that same trap for awhile in tonight's game. It was hard to take and harder to understand. Then it finally hit me! Everything fell into place and it all made sense to me. Read on and see what you think.
OK. Since we already clinched a playoff spot, and we've looked fairly good lately, and we won the darn division LAST year, I think Smitty allowed Coach Mularkey to change the original "winning" offensive plan early in the game. You know the one - that acknowledges and embraces our "identity" as a successful RUNNING team first. The successful RUN-based schemes in which we sustained powerful and time-consuming drives down the field, thereby giving ourselves more control of every game. Why did we so quickly abandon this time-eating, control-type of offense? Well, out of good 'ol fashion southern hospitality of course! Now that I understand Coach Mularkey's intentions, I'm PROUD of how nicely we treated Drew Brees and how we cooperated with the Saints to ensure he would obtain Dan Marino's passing record TONIGHT. Against US!
Yes, sir,.... by almost immediately abandoning the run and emphasizing our "new greatest show on turf" passing game, and by not even THINKING about a potentially more effective man-to-man coverage based D, it was evident our coaching staff was in the holiday spirit! They wanted Mr. Brees to have all the time he needed on the field so he could break that elusive Marino season yardage record. You see, I think we felt kind of bad after that first 6-plus minute drive that kept Mr. Brees and the Saints O off the field for entirely too long, so MM proposed that we do the right thing. It was sweet of us to cooperate from then on by emphasizing our passing attack so as to not keep hogging all that silly "time of possession" which frustrates Mr. Brees and holds down the NOLA O's point accumulation. Brilliant!
Yes, by playing our part tonight, we were more than gracious to NOLA and Drew, allowing them to reach those very nice accomplishments of Division Champs AND Drew breaking Marino's record on OUR watch. Yep, after thinking about it, I'm PROUD to be part of an organization which cooperates with our division brothers so they can look good and earn those prized records. If not us, then it's got to be a fellow Southern division club, right? I guess I learned a valuable lesson tonight: winning isn't everything! It's not always necessary to lead with, to establish, and to stick with the often-successful, "winning" running game which then sets up the play-action passing game. Tonight I have to hand it to Coach Mularkey: he realized this was an important night (and national stage!) for NOLA and Drew Brees to shine. To make all of us here in the Southern Division of the NFC look a bit more genteel and to allow us to be proud that we support the Saints as just one of us!
Now, what can we do for Tampa Bay?