Jim Henderson's Commentary: 49ers over Saints

Jim Henderson's Commentary: 49ers over Saints

If you are a fan of LSU or the Saints, or like most of you a fan of both, it might have been a 17-hour stretch of unprecedented pain.

Two games, both at home, both lost to bitter rivals, both in overtime. Two pulse-pounding, knee-knocking, fingernail-biting, head-splitting, heart-breaking defeats.

I don't know about you, but I need a "TO " from "OT."

When you're not taking care of business so working overtime like the Saints were for the third time this season while losing for the second time, there is no shortage of game-changing plays. Never has the two-minute warning been more alarming for Saints fans than this year. In four of the five defeats, the Saints have led in the final two minutes of regulation, providing countless fodder for second-guessing.

If "what ifs" were "full fifths," we'd all have a merry holiday season.

The Saints make the turn limping into the second half of this one at four and five.

Not good. But good enough for first place in the division. All hail the wrecks that comprise the NFC South. With a win tonight in Philadelphia, the Carolina Panthers would be back in first place by percentage points over the Saints. A Panther loss would hardly find them too deflated, given the company they keep. They'd still be very much in the running in the ugly man contest that is the NFC South.

Where else but the NFC South can you break a five-game losing streak as the Atlanta Falcons did yesterday against the Tampa Bay "Yucks," who are the only one-win team in the conference, and rejoice in being back in the thick of the race. The Falcons trail the first-place Saints by a single game in a division that doesn't boast one winning team.

Used to be a .500 record in November was regarded as the jumping off point from which to fashion a season-deciding run. And it still might be. But at the moment, .500 is looking more like a point of destination than embarkation for those in the solid south of losing football teams.

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