Coaches and players try to abide by the "24-hour rule." You get 24 hours to savor a victory or to lick the wounds of defeat. And then you turn your attention to what's next while dismissing what was.
I doubt it took the Saints players and coaches 24 minutes rather than 24 hours to do so after yesterday's victory over the Jets. What's next is the opportunity to retain first place in the NFC South. Who's next are the Atlanta Falcons. On Christmas Eve... the most magical night of the year. The combination could hardly provoke more anticipation.
The road to the NFC South Title for all the contenders, the Saints, Falcons and Panthers could be said to go through... Tampa Bay? The Bucs get all three in their final three games beginning with them hosting the Falcons tonight. Atlanta's challenge will be similar to the Saints' yesterday. Not to overlook an opponent most regard as merely a speed bump in that road with the "Game of the Year" on deck.
Obviously that game tonight will be must-see TV for every Saint player, coach and fan.
But the beauty of the Saints' position is that tonight, Christmas Eve, New Year's Eve, the Saints need only to watch one scoreboard... their own, to determine their playoff destiny.
The late Al Davis said it often and said it best, "Just Win Baby."
Vince Lombardi put it another way. "Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing."
They were both right...for the Saints...right now.
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