Your desperation for a trade, the Jets’ complete tailspin, and Spags’ defensive background net you a huge splash at the trading deadline: Darrelle Revis. The cost is high (Darren Sproles and TWO first-round picks), but Revis becomes the backbone of your rejuvenated defense. Four straight wins later, you’re facing a big game at Atlanta at 6-5. Win that one, and your season looks a whole lot better.
You win that one. Big. Spags blitzes Matt Ryan into submission, and that win is what really gets the players going. They’ve bought in, your team is rolling (with defense AND offense), and you finish the regular season 11-5 after starting 1-5.
The Packers come to town in the playoffs, and despite your team’s giddyness at its success, the players take on the approach of their coach and remain focused and hard-nosed. The Packers get skunked.
The NFC Championship Game results in a loss (it’s always those road playoff games!), but you can’t complain. 11-5 with a playoff win after the offseason you had? You’ll take it.
Sean Payton regains the head job in the offseason, and it’s cherries and roses going forward with mucho wins and success.