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In Wilbon's World

Bowling for perfection?

The undefeated New Orleans Saints, by virtue of trashing the Patriots on Monday night, are the No. 1 team in the NFL. And the Indianaplois Colts, also 11-0, are a clear No. 2.

The season has been rather ordinary other than the Colts, Saints and now Vince Young. But two teams are 11-0 for the first time in NFL history. And unlike the Colts, who needed some help from Bill Belichick to come from behind to win and remain undefeated, the Saints dismantled Tom Brady and the Patriots in a rather alarming result given how well the Patriots usually play when anything, including pride, is at stake.

The question now that the two most anticipated games of the regular season are over is: Can either of the two go 18-0 to reach the Super Bowl?

The Colts have the white-hot Titans and Vince Young next, but in Indy. It gets easier from there. Home vs. Denver, at Jacksonville -- which is no gimme -- home against the Jets, and home to close it out against the Bills. Yes, that's doable.

The Colts already have one Super Bowl in the Peyton Manning era; they might as well go for something truly special, especially since it would trump New England.

The Saints seem to have a slightly harder road. First, they visit the Redskins on Sunday -- calm down people; the Redskins are too banged up and simply not good enough to beat New Orleans, which lost the last time the two teams played in Washington. Not happening again.

After that, there's a date with the Falcons in Atlanta, which isn't as imposing as it seemed earlier in the season. The Cowboys visit New Orleans following that, followed by a home game with Tampa Bay and a season finale in Carolina. That, too, is very do-able.

Steve Young talked on the Monday night postgame show about how so few coaches want to even embrace that challenge of going undefeated, and he's right. But these two teams seem to be the clear class of the league. How great it would be to see Sean Payton and Jim Caldwell embrace the challenge of really trying to win every single game?

I'm hoping, but realizing that Steve Young is probably right in his assessment. Expect both to finish 15-1 or 14-2.


Michael Wilbon

 |  December 1, 2009; 4:22 PM ET  |  Category:  NFL Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Can we please give the Colts and Saints some privacy? These private organizations are at a critical juncture in their season and don't need the media prying into their lives with speculative questions and comments. They've committed no crimes and are simply trying to take care of matters within their own house. Any trangressions made by Belichick to aid this matter are irrelevant and this undefeated gossip should stop immediately. I'm not going to lie in this space and say I don't pay any attention to the stuff, its just that I dont really care about it.

Posted by: fushezzi | December 2, 2009 10:45 AM
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I remember your column from a couple of years ago on Vince Young, that you thought he was a man among boys and should go to the NFL early. I thought you were right then, but had my doubts last year.

Maybe he needed time to learn or mature, or maybe coaching clashed with his style. Whatever the case, he is an incredible athlete with a strong and accurate arm. Much more than that, he has the kind of leadership and confidence to put his team on his shoulder pads at the end of the game.

Young probably won't win the rest of the games this season, and it is questionable that he can make the playoffs. Regardless, I can't wait to watch him play again.

Posted by: kentwillard | December 1, 2009 7:34 PM
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Caldwell I think has already stated that he will more than likely take the Dungy road and rest his players. The Saints on the other hand have to keep pace with the Vikings in order to gain home field advantage throughout the playoofs. This would be the primary reason the Saints would try to go 16-0.

Posted by: bgorman27 | December 1, 2009 4:41 PM
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