Talking heads on the sports shows have to have something to talk about. But don’t believe what they’re saying about the Saints having a Rams hangover in Week 10.There has to be a storyline for every game. That’s what keeps sports talk shows in business. Sometimes the storylines are legitimate and sometimes they’re just tired topics the hosts and their production teams keep mining to keep things moving along. The Saints, in Week 10 and headed to Cincinnati to face the 5-3 Bengals, are said to be facing a setback due to a hangover from their win over the Rams in Week 9. Don’t you believe it.This is a common narrative and sometimes it has some truth to it. A team comes off a win against a major opponent and has given it their all to do it. The Saints went into last Sunday’s game against the Rams as a slight underdog in the Superdome. That was due to Los Angeles being previously undefeated and having, what looked to be on paper, a leading contender for league MVP in running back Todd Gurley along with an offense averaging over 30 points a game.That offense with a stacked and star-studded defense has caused the Rams to be the favorite to win the Super Bowl since before training camp started. But, of course, they hadn’t played the Saints yet. And they hadn’t played in an environment like the Superdome.So the story goes that an underdog team like the Saints puts it all out on the field and somehow pulls off the huge upset. They’ll be so drained from what it took to do that, to accomplish that feat, that they won’t be up for the next game on the schedule.Anybody buying into that hasn’t been paying attention. This Saints team is always focusing on the next game. The next opponent. Sean Payton is genius at keeping his team and the locker room focused like that.And this Saints team is playing like every week is a new chance to show the rest of the league what they can do and what they’re about. Each week is like a playoff game. They may rest players during the week leading up to a game, but when they take the field, it’s an all or nothing proposition. You’d better believe that will only get more intense with the addition of Dez Bryant.The Saints will be facing a tough stretch of games in the second half of 2018. The Bengals are by no means a pushover though they have a highly suspect defense (30th in the league with the NFL’s worst pass defense). They also have a top ten offense. Let’s not get carried away though. The Bengals’ wins have come against some not so great teams and they were humiliated last week by the red hot Chiefs, 45-10.After the Bengals the Saints face the Eagles, Falcons, Cowboys, Steelers, Bucs and the Panthers twice. Cincinnati and Dallas are two games in that stretch that should be easy wins for the Saints. But this is still the NFL. If it were as easy as seeing how a team did against another team in previous weeks, we’d all be retired and spending the money we won betting the odds.But the point is that the Saints are playing with a swagger like they never have in the past. Even in their Super Bowl season, you didn’t see the level of confidence this current iteration of the club is showing. After an embarrassing home loss to start the season, they’ve learned they can’t take anything for granted and they’ve given everything they’ve got to give each week after that.That attitude will be on full display in Cincinnati as much as it was in the Superdome last Sunday. They’ve shown that they are capable of mounting a comeback if needed. They can run ball control offense if required. And they can take the lid off if they feel like it. That’s not going to change because they beat the Rams. If anything, that will only make them more eager to show what they can do against the next opponent.
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