The Saints dropped two in a row at the Superdome after starting the season 13-0, but the team's leader and motivator-in-chief, QB Drew Brees, said he and his teammates' confidence has not been shaken heading into the season finale against the Panthers. New Orleans secured the No. 1 seed in the NFC when the Bears upset the Vikings Dec. 28, and the Saints' focus has shifted to regaining the momentum they lost over the past few weeks. Brees recently explained the strategy for doing so.
"You kind of get back to the processes, really focusing on what it's taken to get us to this point. And I'd say a majority of that is what you do throughout the week, making sure you're doing all the right things in regards to your work in the weight room, on the practice field, in the film room, taking care of your body, getting treatment on things in your body that need to be treated. Because I find that when you focus on that and take it at one day at a time in one area at a time, by the time Sunday rolls around, you'll know you've done everything you can to put yourself in the best position to succeed today," Brees said. "That's what gives you confidence, really getting back to the simple details and the process."
It sounds like a very achievable task for the Saints, but there is skepticism about whether doing those things is all it will take, especially with Mark Brunell replacing Brees as the starting quarterback for the regular-season finale. After all, the Saints became the first 13-win team in NFL history to lose to a two-win team when the Buccaneers rallied from a 17-point deficit to pull off a 20-17 overtime upset in Week 16.
"I think we're all disappointed and we were looking for answers after (losing to Tampa Bay)," Brees said. "... That's not us. That's not the team we are. But after looking at the film, there are some things, some areas where we have to be better, where we need to improve. That's why the last two days, you've seen a lot of guys in here hitting the film hard, meeting with their coaches ... and dissecting those ways to get back on track — not only that, but to get better."
The Saints' playoff run could be brief if those answers aren't discovered soon.
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