By Danny Cox
As the New Orleans Saints travel to Lambeau Field on Sunday to take on the Green Bay Packers, it was not expected that the teams would have one combined win through three weeks. With the Packers sitting at 1-2 and the Saints winless at 0-3; this is a must-win situation for both teams and only one can come out on top.
For years now, both the Saints and Packers have been atop the NFL ladder and led the way to playoff wins, MVP seasons, and Super Bowl victories. The way the teams are struggling so far doesn’t get sympathy from the rest of the league.
It also doesn’t get sympathy from either team as they aren’t going to feel sorry for themselves. They also aren’t going to feel sorry for their opponents because they know their each struggling in the same way.
Packers linebacker Clay Matthews agrees.
“They have no sympathy for us and we don’t for them,” said Matthews.
Only one team has made the playoffs starting out with an 0-4 record since the NFL-AFL merger back in 1970 and that was the San Diego Chargers in 1992. New Orleans knows that this game against Green Bay is “do or die.”
Matthews realizes that as well. He also knows that even though the Saints haven’t registered a win so far in the 2012 NFL season, Sunday is not going to be an easy win.
“It’s like a wounded dog coming in here,” Matthews said on “NFL Total Access.” “They’re 0-3, but when you tell anybody that you’re playing the Saints, they don’t assume that they have that record. They’re a great team with an MVP-caliber quarterback. The best two-minute offense you’ve ever seen. They’re doing things right. They just haven’t had that much success this year.
It is a given fact that both teams have a lot of talent, but things just haven’t swung in their directions this year. The Saints have had some bad breaks on the field with their playing. Green Bay has been the victim of the worst call in the history of the NFL.
Still, that is no reason to get down on yourself and think the season is over.
When week four is over though, the Saints will either be winless or the Packers will drop to 1-3 in the NFC North. Either scenario is tragic and may end up being the straw that breaks the camel’s back because it will be difficult for Green Bay or New Orleans to rebound.
New Orleans will step onto the unfriendly confines of Lambeau Field with one of the most impressive offenses of the past three decades in the NFL. Green Bay will oppose Drew Brees and company with the number three ranked defense in the entire NFL. Clay Matthews knows that fact and gives credit to his teammates.
“This defense, this team, has done some great things,” said Matthews, who has six sacks and is on pace to break the NFL record. “In fact, we ended the lockout with the referees.”
He may be correct. Ok, actually he is spot on with that comment so he has all the right in the world to say it.
The real referees are back. Green Bay is 1-2 and angry. New Orleans is 0-3 and desperate. Something has got to give this weekend and it is going to be one of those extreme emotions backed by a hell of a lot of talent.
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Danny Cox knows a little something about the NFL, whether it means letting you know what penalty will come from the flag just thrown on the field or quickly spouting off who the Chicago Bears drafted in the first round of the 1987 draft (Jim Harbaugh). He plans on bringing you the best news, previews, recaps, and anything else that may come along with the exciting world of the National Football League. His work can be found on Examiner.com.