Jim Henderson Commentary, Week Ten

Tonight a national television audience will be "treated" to a game between Miami and Tampa Bay...the two most dysfunctional franchises in the NFL currently. A "woes bowl" if ever there was one.

This comes one night after a national television audience was "treated" to a game that featured one franchise in the New Orleans Saints that has arguably never functioned better.

After his team suffered a defeat he could only describe as "embarrassing", a dismayed Cowboy owner Jerry Jones lamented, "I didn't see this coming." And while prime time is the right time for the Saints who won for the 12th straight time in such a setting in the dome, it was the way they won and with whom they won that had to have delirious Saints fans feeling the same way.

After last week's loss to the Jets there was more than enough evidence to conclude the following:

The Saints cannot or will not run the ball. Mark Ingram is a bust.

Last night the Saints ran it for 242 yards with Ingram picking up 145 of those. With the offensive line opening holes large enough for Jerry Jones' ego to squeeze through, 165 of those 242 yards came before first contact with a Cowboy defender.

The offensive line is a sieve that's going to get Drew Brees killed.

Though DeMarcus Ware brought some pressure, Brees was sacked just a single time. And when the Cowboys brought 5 or more defenders looking to do so, Brees made them pay, going 9 for 9 with 2 touchdowns.

Marques Colston is no longer a factor in the Saints offense.

Last night he opened the scoring for the Saints while tying for the team lead in receptions and leading it in receiving yards.

The impressions of the last game linger to the next. But as we saw last night they can be awfully misleading when trying to forecast this Sunday's results. With San Francisco coming in here then, if the Saints' belief in themselves was shaken in New York, it was replenished and fortified back in New Orleans.

Four years ago in the Superdome, the Cowboys handed the Saints their first loss of the season after 13 straight wins. And a sliver of doubt was created that this was the Super Bowl team it would be.

Four years later in mauling the Cowboys in the same setting, a level of confidence was restored that this is the Super Bowl team it could be.