Black & Gold Review

New Orleans & Sports & Americana

My God. The 2017 Saints

My God. The 2017 Saints

“I don’t know about the voodoo, but I definitely believe in destiny,” said Drew Brees, who led a no-timeout, 80-yard drive in just 33 seconds to tie the game late in regulation. “I believe in karma, and what goes around comes around. We’ve been on the other side of this deal probably too many times, and maybe it’s our time, that we start catching some of the breaks.”

Wait, I’m sorry that was Drew Brees’ quote from Dec 6, 2009. MY MISTAKE. No, that quote won’t do at all. Today? Today Drew Brees led a no-timeout, 87-yard drive in just 48 seconds to tie the game late in regulation.

In 2009, the Saints won a game in Washington they had no business winning. That game will be remembered, of course by the Meacharound, a play so absurd, that it’s impossible to find a clip of it on YouTube that’s not accompanied by some insanely dramatic music.

Today’s game doesn’t have a play as iconic as the Meacharound – although Kamara’s circus-catch for a TD was just as fun – but the win was just as improbable. In 2009, Washington’s game probability peaked at 98.6%, today? 99.6%! And each time, Washinton shot themselves in the foot and the Saints won a game they shouldn’t have.

Great teams have an air of destiny around them. Poorly played games happen to all teams and turning magical tricks like the game today (or 2009) is the difference between 10 wins and 13. So here we are, basking in the glow of insanity and the Saints broke out of their 7-9 slump in the only way they could: by rattling off 8 straight victories culminating in this stupid, improbable 15 point comeback that really shouldn’t have happened.

Championship runs are built on victories like these. Stupid, improbable victories matter.

They require Drew Brees to finish a game 11-11 with two touchdowns. Or Alvin Kamara juggling a pass past four defenders into the end zone. Or Kirk Cousins panicking while under pressure to draw an intentional grounding call. Or the Saints defense stepping up to stop a key third-and-1. Or Mark Ingram Hulking his way to 51 yards on two carries in overtime. Or. Or. Or.

Special teams win. This team just won.

We’ll have more analysis later, but for now, let’s just study this beautiful win probability chart:


Ryan Chauvin
A native of the Mississippi Gulf Coast, but with a surname that indicates his importance to the history of a tiny town in South Louisiana, Ryan Chauvin currently lives in Houston, TX, doing general (read: non-sports) internet things. Ryanwas on Jimmy(!)’s bandwagon before it was cool, and has never predicted that the Saints will lose a game.