- Chinese Death Star: The moon cited as the perfect launch pad for ballistic missiles
- Help wanted: Homeland Security plagued by vacancies at the top
- We are not amused: Queen’s protection officers warned to keep ‘sticky fingers’ off the royal cashews
- Unleash the crossbows: Gov. Scott Walker creates new hunting season
- Bubonic plague kills 20 in Madagascar
- G-20 diplomats fell for hacker attack promising nude photos of former French first lady Carla Bruni
- Minnesota guardsman charged with stealing private soldier data for fake IDs
- Florida appeals court rules universities can’t regulate guns
- Vladimir Putin defends Russian conservative values
- Tea Party Patriots call key GOP firing a declaration of war
Saints can’t relax, jockeying for playoff position
Question of the Day
Not with the possibly of getting the No. 1 seed in the playoffs.
New Orleans clinched at least an NFC wild-berth berth with a 17-14 victory Monday night against Atlanta. If the Saints beat Tampa Bay (9-6) on Sunday in the Superdome and Atlanta loses at home to 2-13 Carolina, New Orleans will be the No. 1 seed. Otherwise, the Saints will be No. 5.
“We’re going to be on a crash course for this week’s game, period,” coach Sean Payton said Tuesday. “Our focus is strictly on playing this game and knowing that there’s still a lot at stake potentially.
“This is going to be a tough test for us, especially coming off of a Monday night game. Tampa is coming in and they’re still in the hunt, and when you’re in the hunt you’re desperate. By this time next week we’ll know where the chips are at and then you go forward.”
This is the first time in Payton’s five seasons that the Saints‘ regular-season finale has had playoff implications for them. Last season they had already secured the No. 1 seed before the finale and Payton rested many of his starters in a 23-10 loss at Carolina.
In 2008, when they finished 8-8, and 2007 when they were 7-9, the Saints had been eliminated from the playoff race before their finale. In Payton’s first season in 2006, New Orleans was locked into the No. 2 seed and he rested several starters in a 31-21 loss to the Panthers.
If the Saints are the No. 5 seed they will play a wild-card game at the NFC West champion, which will be the winner of the St. Louis-Seattle game Sunday night. Payton said there’s not enough time in a short week to begin preparing for either the Rams or Seahawks.
“Let’s win first, then figure out what happens after that,” linebacker Jonathan Vilma said. “Let the mathematicians and the NFL figure out who is the one seed and all that good stuff.”
New Orleans is making consecutive playoff appearances for the first time since a three-year string in 1990-92, but Payton said last season’s success has changed the expectations for the organization.
“I would say that once you’ve had a chance to win a championship, your thirst for more of that type of success only grows stronger,” Payton said. “You never take for granted these seasons or these years because this group isn’t something that’s a permanent thing. I don’t view it as a checkmark in what we’ve wanted to accomplish. We want to accomplish bigger things than just getting into the postseason.”
To do that, the Saints (11-4) and the Falcons (12-3) could meet again in the playoffs. The two teams don’t really care for each other and the Saints may have added fuel to that fire after Monday’s victory. Several defensive players posed for a photo while standing on the Falcons logo at midfield in the Georgia Dome.
“We clinched a playoff berth, that was huge,” Vilma said. “These are memories for us to have for years down the road. We wanted to take that picture. It had nothing to do with Atlanta. It had nothing to do with showing them up in their home stadium.
“It was us being happy.”
By Matt Kibbe
The short-term deal will assure long-term overspending
- Obama's Afghanistan experts stumped on U.S. death toll, war costs during hearing
- Comma on!: Twitter erupts over Obama-Castro 'marriage'
- NAPOLITANO: A conspiracy so vast
- N. Korean news agency: Kim Jong Un's uncle executed
- All-out war breaks out in GOP over budget pact
- White House improvises again on patchy Obamacare rollout
- Biden guarantees victory on immigration reform
- Jane Fonda Foundation fails to make single contribution in 5 years: report
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
- VEGAS RULES: Harry Reid pushed feds to change ruling for casino's big-money foreigners
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Born in 1930 in rural Missouri, Charles Vandegriffe, Sr., brings his time and place to the Communities.
Columns from Voices around the World talking about the events, people, politics and social issues that concern us wherever, and whoever, we are.
Chef Mary Moran discusses the food we eat, where it comes from and what it does for us.
An informed and often humorous take on the world of advertising, public relations and social media. 100% Pure. Not from concentrate.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow