The League

Zach Leibowitz
Sideline Reporter

Zach Leibowitz

A former sideline reporter for ESPN

Saints Marching Out

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And that'll be all for New Orleans in 2008.

For all of Drew Brees' masterful play this season and last season and the one before that, he picked the wrong time to put forth his worst QB rated game of the year. Those two late interceptions in Tampa Bay Sunday did in the Saints, who will miss the playoffs for the second straight season after making its run to the NFC Championship game in '06.

Doomed by its participation in the suddenly best division in football, there are simply too many better teams ahead of them in the standings. And losing to the Bucs proved especially costly as a win would have given New Orleans the season series sweep, with only a one-game deficit in the standings and four games to go.

Now, they're three games out of first -- behind both Tampa and Carolina -- and two games behind the league's best story this season, the Atlanta Falcons.

Interestingly, if you take a look at New Orleans' remaining schedule -- vs. ATL, at CHI, at DET and vs. CAR -- I can see them winning out. That would give them 10 wins.

But the Falcons game Sunday is no sure thing just because its a home game, and at 1-5 on the road already, December conditions at Soldier Field won't be pleasant.

So if you add up all the elements, the Saints will fall short of the playoffs. But they'll be back next year -- so long as they can keep Reggie Bush on the football field for an entire season.

By Zach Leibowitz  |  December 2, 2008; 11:39 AM ET  | Category:  NFL Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: December 2nd Winner: OZZIE | Next: So Long, Saints

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