Jim Henderson Commentary: Saints prepare for season finale again - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

Jim Henderson Commentary: Saints prepare for season finale against the Falcons

FOX 8 graphic FOX 8 graphic
NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) -

On Sunday, the Atlanta Falcons can secure the second seed in the NFC Playoffs and a first round bye with a win as a touchdown favorite over the Saints. A New Orleans win gives the Saints an 8-8 finish in 2016...not a winning record, but for the first time in three years, not a losing one either. 

The Falcons went from an 8-8 record a year ago to their first division title since 2012. They did so with the continued exemplary play of their stars like Matt Ryan and Julio Jones, the rapid maturation of young veterans like Vic Beasley and Teven Coleman and a collection of newcomers like Alex Mack, Deion Jones, Keanu Neal and Taylor Gabriel, who made an immediate, positive impact. 

Should the Saints win on Sunday, it would be their turn to finish at .500 and you could make the argument that they could duplicate the Falcons' ascendancy next year. Some of the same elements are in place here as there. What isn't known is who will be those Saints newcomers in 2017 and how much they can positively impact the returning corps of veterans. 

But for the first time in recent memory, there is evidence that they Saints can spend wisely and evaluate talent better with greater resources under the salary cap... that they can do the same in the upcoming draft for which they are currently missing only a fifth round pick. They did a stellar job in last April's selections and figure to be in the same ballpark as a year ago when their first round pick was the 12th overall. 

A three-game winning streak against quality opponents to end the season would engender some tangible optimism to take into the off-season. But much can change in the interim between this year's finish and next year's start.

Almost a year ago as the Saints knocked off the Falcons in Atlanta 20-17, the game-deciding heroes of the day featured Jamarca Sanford, Ben Watson, John Jenkins and Kai Forbath. Not one of them was back or back for long in 2016. 

For whom will Sunday's game be the last as a Saint contributor?

Copyright 2016 WVUE. All rights reserved.

  • SportsMore>>

  • Jim Henderson's Black & Gold Breakdown: Week 3, Saints at Panthers

    Jim Henderson's Black & Gold Breakdown: Week 3, Saints at Panthers

    Officials with the Saints have been known to say about a difficulty: "It's not a problem. It's an opportunity for a solution." The Saints currently have the same "opportunity for a solution" they've had for the last two seasons when they've also started 0 and 2.

    more>>

    Officials with the Saints have been known to say about a difficulty: "It's not a problem. It's an opportunity for a solution." The Saints currently have the same "opportunity for a solution" they've had for the last two seasons when they've also started 0 and 2.

    more>>
  • FFF: Is the Brees era with the Saints coming to an end?

    FFF: Is the Brees era with the Saints coming to an end?

    Drew Brees started with the Saints in 2006. Source: Mark LaGrangeDrew Brees started with the Saints in 2006. Source: Mark LaGrange

    In this edition of FFF we look at how long Drew Brees has left in New Orleans, meet the new world power in soccer, and a local dining spot setting up shop in London for Saints-Dolphins. FOOTBALL On "The Herd" this week, it's host Colin Cowherd, opined "This is probably it" for the Payton-Brees partnership. He went one step further asking Sports Illustrated's Peter King if his opinion was fact. King felt the same, "Yeah this is probably it." But then Ki...

    more>>

    In this edition of FFF we look at how long Drew Brees has left in New Orleans, meet the new world power in soccer, and a local dining spot setting up shop in London for Saints-Dolphins. FOOTBALL On "The Herd" this week, it's host Colin Cowherd, opined "This is probably it" for the Payton-Brees partnership. He went one step further asking Sports Illustrated's Peter King if his opinion was fact. King felt the same, "Yeah this is probably it." But then Ki...

    more>>
  • On second thought Guice will play Saturday against Syracuse

    On second thought Guice will play Saturday against Syracuse

    Derius Guice will play on Saturday after all. Source: Mark LaGrangeDerius Guice will play on Saturday after all. Source: Mark LaGrange
    Yesterday, LSU Coach Ed Orgeron ruled out Derrius Guice for Saturday's game against Syracuse on his radio show. A day later, Orgeron changed course, saying Guice will in fact play against the Orange. Guice met with the training staff convincing them he was ready to practice Thursday. The message got relayed to Orgeron, and the junior running back was back on the practice fields.  "He came to us today and said 'Coach, I'm feeling better, I want to practice.' He practiced pr...more>>
    Yesterday, LSU Coach Ed Orgeron ruled out Derrius Guice for Saturday's game against Syracuse on his radio show. A day later, Orgeron changed course, saying Guice will in fact play against the Orange. Guice met with the training staff convincing them he was ready to practice Thursday. The message got relayed to Orgeron, and the junior running back was back on the practice fields.  "He came to us today and said 'Coach, I'm feeling better, I want to practice.' He practiced pr...more>>
Powered by Frankly