|Rodgers and Brees each have a Super Bowl ring but also share just one win between them this season. (US Presswire)|
You know what quarterbacks Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees have in common? They're all Super Bowl winners (they've combined for eight Lombardi Trophies, in fact), and they currently play for teams that are sitting at 1-2 or worse (the Saints are 0-3).
It's hard to have sympathy for players who have enjoyed so much NFL success, and that holds for this Sunday's Saints-Packers matchup. When the schedule came out last spring, this was a no-brainer for game of the week. Instead, a loss would pretty much torpedo New Orleans' postseason aspirations … and it's still September. (None of the CBSSports.com experts -- including the game-picking robot more affectionately known at the Prediction Machine -- like the Saints to win.)
Packers linebacker Clay Matthews doesn't have any sympathy for the Saints' plight; he has his own issues. Namely: getting Green Bay back to .500.
"It's like a wounded dog coming in here," Matthews said during a recent appearance 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.
"They have no sympathy for us, and we don't for them."
Further proof that preseason prognostications are a monumental waste of time: the Saints are last in the NFC South behind the Panthers and Bucs. And the Packers share the NFC North cellar with the Lions while the Vikings (!) and Bears lead the division.
For Green Bay, it's way too early to panic. The Packers were jobbed Monday night against the Seahawks, and they still have Rodgers.
While the Saints also have their Pro Bowl quarterback, they're without coach Sean Payton, and interim coach Joe Vitt is still a few weeks away from returning from suspension. Plus, the defense has been atrocious. All told, it has resulted in a winless start for a team that most people figured would make the playoffs despite the bounty-scandal-related punishments handed down by the league. But if New Orleans falls to 0-4, we can begin the "So, who are the Saints going to take with their high first-round draft pick?" conversations in earnest.
We hate the "must-win game" memes that seem to start earlier each season (it's the NFL equivalent of Christmas decorations going up around Labor Day). But for New Orleans, for this week, it's true.
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