NFL Roundup: What The Hell Got Into The Saints?

News And Notes From Week 14 In The NFL ...

• When Bill Simmons mentioned in his column this week that he considered Drew Brees a better choice for SI's Sportsman of the Year than Dwyane Wade, we thought he was bonkers; perhaps too much VH-1? Even if Brees has had a great year and contributed to the general sense of rebirth at the Superdome — well, for the white fans with tickets and, you know, homes anyway — we had a difficult time imagining him worthy of the award for three good months with not even a guaranteed playoff spot. (If he had broken his leg the week after the magazine came out, no one would remember why he had ever been chosen; that's our point.) Anyway, after last night's ridiculousness in Dallas, we aren't quite sure what to make of anything anymore. The Saints curb-stomped the Cowboys last night, 42-17, and frankly they could have scored 60, had they wanted to. The Cowboys had been the hottest team in football, and the Saints ... jeez, the Saints, man, wow. Sean Payton, your presumed coach of the year (and former replacement player, lest we forget), looked like a guy who had coached the Cowboys the last couple of years, and the Cowboys had an overwhelmed, Zook-ian vibe to them. We're not ready to say the Saints are the likely NFC Super Bowl candidate, but they play like they did last night, they'll beat anybody.

• If this were baseball, you could hold out hope that the Colts were the NFL's Cardinals, a team that will limp into the playoffs with one of its worst rosters and catch fire at the right time. But say what you will about Jeff Weaver and Jeff Suppan, but at least those guys could at least trip a guy to stop him from running. The Colts look like they're toast, folks.

• Not that the Patriots are gorgeous right now either; Tom Brady threw for 78 yards yesterday and the Pats were shutout. These teams are unlikely to even make it far enough to have another playoff faceoff.

• We think it's rather awesome that Shawne Merriman, after missing four games because of steroids, is still the favorite for NFL Defensive Player of the Year. The NFL, it's the best.

• Every time we watch Vince Young do something amazing again, we feel pretty stupid about ever getting so worked up about Ron Mexico.

• Edgerrin James has rushed for 100-plus yards two straight games now, enough to make him forget his a Buzzsaw. The Seahawks, by the way, yipes; they're just like the Colts and Pats, playoff relics likely to slip in but not likely to last long.

• From The Mighty MJD Smorgasbord: "Michael Strahan is in a new Subway commercial with Jared, one that ends with them sharing a hearty belly laugh, and I'd like to tell you something about the forced chemistry between the two, and about how it's a weird, uncomfortable, commercial... but I can't. I completely buy that Strahan and Jared are pals. Nothing in the world makes more sense to me."