The League

Doug Farrar
Writer

Doug Farrar

A FootballOutsiders.com staff writer

Too Early to Tell

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I think there's a danger in placing too much weight on a single week of blowouts, and while the AFC looks strong in certain instances, I'd actually argue that the New Orleans Saints aren't just the NFC's best, but the class of the NFL. Halfway through the second quarter on Sunday, they were down, 24-3 to a very game Dolphins team. At the end of the game, the Saints pulled off a 46-34 win. This marked the first time all season that the Saints have trailed, and they simply switched into overdrive when it mattered. The most encouraging aspect of the 2009 Saints is that it's not just about Drew Brees and the passing game anymore -- New Orleans has a dynamic running game and a newly outstanding defense. The Dolphins tried everything they could to slow the offensive attack down, but it was nothing doing.

Now, while the Saints are one of three unbeaten teams, and the other two (Indianapolis and Denver) are in the AFC, I still think that the road to the Super Bowl (should it be contested today) goes through New Orleans. You also have to include Minnesota in any extended discussion of the NFL's best, despite their close loss to the Steelers yesterday. And the Arizona Cardinals are looking a bit dangerous now, having won three straight road games with a new focus on fundamentals.

These things tend to be cyclical as well -- there are teams taken very seriously that will fade, just as there are teams currently under the radar that will surprise at season's end. In 2008, who had the Cardinals going to the Super Bowl with a month left in the regular season? It's best to wait and see how the season plays out before judging the superiority of this or that conference.

By Doug Farrar  |  October 26, 2009; 9:28 AM ET  | Category:  NFL , New Orleans Saints Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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