It’s been rough on ESPN lately with their viewership numbers plummeting. Another problem is Monday Night Football at this stage of the season and the games on display, like the irrelevant matchup between the New Orleans Saints and the Detroit Lions, two teams that can’t even make the postseason anymore, and have nothing to play for.
The only interesting thing for those who aren’t fans of either team is the fact that this might be the last time we see both teams as they are right now. As weird as it is to consider, Drew Brees might not be with the Saints forever. The same goes for the Lions, who might undergo some massive changes in the offseason in the front office, sidelines and the field, with another postseason appearance followed by an awful season, just like in 2013.
The Saints, 5-8, are coming off a win, and might end up finishing the season at .500 if they win out. For a minute during this season, during their four wins in five game stretch before four consecutive losses doomed them to a third season with no playoffs in four years, it felt like the Payton-Brees magic was going to get things done once again. But this is a team that’s been unable to fix a terrible defense, and with Brees declining, even a few more big performances from him (usually at home, where they’re 3-3) haven’t been enough.
The Lions? We’re used to dysfunction from them. After an 1-7 start, they won three in a row, including putting 45 points up against the Philadelphia Eagles and beating the Green Bay Packers in Green Bay. But a team with a very suspect running game and with inferiority on both sides of the line against almost every opponent can’t do well for too long. Not without some superstar at quarterback. Matthew Stafford is good, but he’s not special, and so the Lions lost two in a row to put them back in their place.
Pressure-less NFL games can lead to some very interesting encounters, with plenty of offense and creativity, which is something we should be expecting from the Saints. But in a sport that prides itself about every game making a difference, it’s a little bit sad to see these teams go at it with nothing to play for, not to mention some sense of great change waiting just around the corner, knowing things, especially for the Saints, might never be the same, after the best era in the history of the franchise.