Welcome To The New Era: Parity Is Dead

There once was a time where all teams were considered equal, or at least close to it. Not anymore. The good teams are good, and the bad teams are really bad.

The Saints erased a 21-point deficit to win at Miami on Sunday, and in doing so showed the rest of the league exactly why New Orleans is to be more feared than in recent seasons. This version of the Saints is about far more than prolific quarterback Drew Brees slinging the ball up and down the field.

When the Dolphins sent their safeties to harass Brees, who threw three interceptions, the Saints were able to make the adjustment.

New Orleans got the running game untracked and got tight end Jeremy Shockey more involved in the passing game. The Saints finished the game averaging 5.9 yards per carry and Shockey led the team with 105 receiving yards on four receptions.

What had been a Brees-dependant offense now has more complementary weapons that can step up when the vertical passing game is stalled.

"It was the first chance for us to play from a deficit and I was encouraged with how we responded," said Saints coach Sean Payton.

The Saints are one of only three remaining unbeaten teams. Denver enjoyed a bye week while the Colts came off their bye and rolled over St. Louis to improve to 6-0.

"You never know how it's going to be," tight end Dallas Clark said. "Last year, we definitely didn't start out like this. It's a good thing, but we haven't accomplished anything. We have to improve each week and keep getting better."

--After years of debate about parity around the league, there has been a lot of talk this season about the growing divide between the good and the bad teams. There are three winless teams and three more with just one victory.

And it's not just about the number of teams struggling - it's about their overall lack of competitiveness. Out of 12 games Sunday, 10 were decided by double digits.

As coach Todd Haley summed up the Chiefs' performance in a 37-7 loss to San Diego: "We got our butts kicked across the board."

And Kansas City was one of six teams to lose by at least four touchdowns Sunday.

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