The Saints could still go marching into playoffs

Published 10:50 am Thursday, September 29, 2016

When some people wake up in the morning, the first thing they do is turn on the news.

I personally feel news stations, particularly on the national level, tend to report a large portion of negative or even depressing news. Because of that and my passion for sports, I often elect to tune in to ESPN, the sports news channel, to start my day.

So, as I sip my morning coffee, I watch popular shows like SportsCenter, First Take and His and Hers in an effort to attain as much information as possible. Since the National Football League and National Basketball Association are the arenas where I am most knowledgeable, those segments get my most attention.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

My favorite analysts like Stephen A. Smith, Jemele Hill, Max Kellerman and others weighed in on NFL teams and action, but a few topics of their debates caught my attention.

One was a discussion on 0-3 teams in the NFL. For almost four years I have analyzed and covered a bevy of sports, and still it never ceases to amaze me how quick members of the media and team fanbases are to write off a franchise.

For about 10 minutes I listened as the media declared the seasons over for the 0-3 Saints, Jaguars, Browns and Bears. While I am inclined to agree that is the case for three of the four teams, I simply refuse to believe the Saints are done.

Albeit, the odds stacked highly are against New Orleans. According to, only three teams have rebounded from an 0-3 mark since 1990. The 1998 Buffalo Bills were the most recent team to do so.

Still, it is far too early to dismiss a Drew Brees-led team even if he is over the hump. Sure their defense is absolutely anemic and injuries are a problem, but as it stands they are not in a strong division.

The reigning NFC-champion Panthers and the Buccaneers are 1-2, and even the division-leading Falcons don’t look like a runaway champion.

We as the media must learn to be more realistic.

Sure, history is against an 0-3 team but as a longtime football fan one thing I know for sure is records are made to be broken. All it takes is a couple of weeks of wins and the narrative of football pundits towards these teams will change quicker than Clippers center De’Andre Jordan’s mind during free agency.

With that being said, let’s at least wait until midseason before we cast off a team altogether.

Texans lose J.J. Watt

Texans fans are likely reeling after news of three-time Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt reinjuring his back. Watt was easily the best player on a team that relied heavily on its defense as is. Now that he is gone, new quarterback Brock Osweiler, DeAndre Hopkins and the rest of the Texans’ offense will have to step up in a big way.

That is certainly possible, but the Texans have still suffered a huge blow to their championship aspirations. The Texans would be lucky to get a playoff win without its leader and the soul of the team.

Wentz wagon continues to fill

In about two weeks, rookie quarterback Carson Wentz went from second fiddle to Sam Bradford to the Philadelphia Eagles’ starting quarterback. Even after he got the job, no one could have expected what ensued. Wentz looks like a seasoned veteran and has displayed superb command of the offense en route to a 3-0 start for my favorite NFL team. With a 90.5 quarterback rating per Pro Football Focus, he is the top-graded QB thus far in 2016.

As a fan of the Eagles, I remain cautiously optimistic. As I have stated before, there is still a lot of football to be left to be played and the rookie is sure to be tested. If what he has shown so far, he will be prepared to rise to the occasion when the time comes.

Anthony McDougle is the sports editor for The Daily Leader. He can be contacted at