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QBREES9 11-20-2009 01:07 PM

Picture for playoffs still taking shape
About this time of the NFL season each year, media and fans usually start trying to figure out what the New Orleans Saints and other teams have to do to make the playoffs.

With two games remaining in November and only seven games to be played overall, the playoff picture is really going to start taking shape in the next couple of weeks.

It can get rather complicated — and it usually does — when tiebreakers and other variables are factored into the equation that ends up sending 12 teams to the postseason.

For once, thanks to a 9-0 start, it looks like the Saints won’t have to enlist the aid of a mathematician to figure out what they have to do — and what some other teams have to do to help them out — because they’ve all but punched their postseason ticket.

They’re not officially in, of course, but they can take another step in that direction with a win Sunday against the 1-8 Tampa Bay Bucs in Raymond James Stadium. A victory would leave the Saints with at least a four-game lead in the NFC South with only six games left.

As it always is, the goal is to win the division and then earn one of two first-round byes in the NFC, and, while they’re at it, gain Dome-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

Because of their spotless record, the Saints have set themselves up for a strong run to all of the above — if they can get some of their injured players back and continue to subscribe to the take-it-one-game-at-a-time theory they’ve had hammered into their heads since Week 1.

When you’re 9-0, just qualifying for the playoff party and earning a first-round bye is not enough. That’s why homefield advantage is going to be in their sights soon.

At this point, it appears the Saints and three other teams — Minnesota (8-1), Dallas (6-3) and Arizona (6-3) have the best shot at it. Only four other NFC teams have winning records, and they’re all 5-4 going into this weekend’s play.

Based on the records of their remaining opponents, the Saints seem to have an edge over the Vikings. Both have only three games left with teams with winning records, but the cumulative record of the Saints’ foes is 26-37 compared to the 33-30 mark of the Vikings’ opponents.

The Saints’ toughest games appear to be at home against New England and Dallas and at Atlanta. The Vikings, on the other hand, have to go to Arizona and host Cincinnati and the New York Giants.

And remember, since the Saints and Vikings don’t meet this season, the first tiebreaker would be their NFC records. Both are 6-0 within the conference with six games left.

Of course, you can’t count out Dallas and Arizona because of who they play in the next month and a half. The Cowboys can make up some ground with a Dec. 19 visit to the Saints, while the Cardinals host the Vikings on Dec. 6. | Sports | Mickles: Picture for playoffs still taking shape — Baton Rouge, LA

Sir Psycho Sexy 11-20-2009 01:35 PM

Re: Picture for playoffs still taking shape
::yawn:: let the peasants sort it out for themselves. ha!

foreverfan 11-20-2009 01:38 PM

Re: Picture for playoffs still taking shape
I'm going to miss around Christmas reading about how 3 NFC teams need to lose twice and the Saints need to win out to make the final wildcard team.

nutria 11-20-2009 01:46 PM

Re: Picture for playoffs still taking shape
Absolutely incredible--Saints are undefeated. WOW

B_Dub_Saint 11-20-2009 04:50 PM

Re: Picture for playoffs still taking shape

Originally Posted by nutria (Post 177873)
Absolutely incredible--Saints are undefeated. WOW

Yes sir!!!! Isnt it lovely

Sir Psycho Sexy 11-20-2009 05:14 PM

Re: Picture for playoffs still taking shape
Really doesn't matter in some ways ...the wild cards that is. Minn is the real deal like we are. The only question will be where does the NFC game take place. WHO-DAT!

Rugby Saint II 11-21-2009 10:56 AM

Re: Picture for playoffs still taking shape
My girlfriend teaches math...this year she gets the easy math to figure out the playoff picture.

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