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WhoDat 11-03-2003 07:37 PM

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Needless to say, if we're sitting at 5-4 right now then we're one game out of the wildcard and looking good. Of course, that's not the case. It's going to be tough guys. Here's how it looks now:

Division Leaders
--------------------------------------------
Dallas 6-2
Minnesota 6-2
Carolina 6-2
Seattle 6-2

Wild Card
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Philly 5-3
St Louis 5-3
NYG 4-4
Green Bay 4-4
Tampa 4-4
New Orleans 4-5
San Fran 4-5


Here's what we need to see this week:

Carolina over Tampa
Baltimore over St Louis
Atlanta over NYG
Green Bay over Philly
Buffalo over Dallas
San Diego over Minnesota
Seattle over Washington

If that all happens, here's how it will look after this week:

Division Leaders
--------------------------------------------
Carolina 7-2
Seattle 7-2
Dallas 6-3
Minnesota 6-3

Wild Card
--------------------------------------------
Philly 5-4
Green Bay 5-4
St Louis 5-4
New Orleans 4-5
Tampa 4-5
San Fran 4-5
NYG 4-5
Washington 3-6

Not all of this will happen. It's hard to believe that Atlanta will beat the Giants. The real important games are Carolina over Tampa, Baltimore over St Louis, and Green Bay over Philly. If St Louis and Philadelphia make it to 6-3, it's hard to believe we'll have a shot. Both are in races for their division and they're going to keep winning. I dunno guys. That Carolina game may have been the straw that broke us. This hole may be a bit too big to climb out of.

whowatches 11-03-2003 07:43 PM

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Thanks for the post. All that math makes my head hurt. I\'m gonna print your list so I know who to root for this weekend.

I\'m really worried about our game against Philly. I have a feeling they\'ve lost all the games they\'re gonna lose this year. The Giants are also looking scary.

Dallas looks more beatable every week.

WhoDat 11-03-2003 07:49 PM

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The real problem is that the Rams and Packers are both playing like they\'re playoff teams. A few weeks ago I thought 8-8 might even make the playoffs. Now I\'m thinking 10-6 may not be good enough. The Saints could go 9-7 and be two games out of it. If Philly stays strong, then we need Dallas to crash and burn. Then St Louis, Green Bay, and/or Carolina need to fall apart also.

WhoDat 11-03-2003 08:22 PM

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Spin it however you\'d like, but all I know is that St Louis has won four of their last five games. Yeah, they self-destructed pretty good last week, but that was against a division rival. If the Saints have taught you anything it should be that you can always lose big to a division rival no matter how bad that team may be.

Green Bay has lost twice in the last five weeks. Once to KC and once to the Rams. Those are good teams. They also beat Minnesota and Seattle. Those are division leaders. Yeah, those teams are playing good football right now - which is why they have as many wins as we have losses.

rich006 11-03-2003 09:10 PM

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I think 3rdNLong is right. Our best shot is winning the division. There are too many good teams out there that are starting to come together about now-- SF has had two dominant performances in the last three weeks over strong opponents (TB and STL), the Giants have won 2 in a row, and I agree that the Packers look OK, at least compared to the Saints. I mean their offense is very similar in a lot of ways, but with better leadership in Favre, while their defense is no more suspect than ours. They have at least as good a chance to get a Wild Card spot as we do. The Eagles have a really tough schedule, but they seem to be pulling together lately. The wild card race is going to go down to the wire.

Meanwhile, Carolina has looked very beatable lately. Remember how they started 3-0 last year and then disappeared for the next two months? I\'m not saying that\'s going to happen again, but it seems just as likely as the scenario where all the pieces fit together and the Saints squeak into the wild card. As unlikely as it sounds, I believe it\'s possible we can win 3 more games than Carolina out of the last 7 (assuming they lose next week). Baseless optimism? Yes, but that\'s what you need if you\'re a Saints fan. :)

Either way (winning the division or getting a wild card spot), we need to go 6-1 in the last 7 games to have a decent chance of getting to the playoffs. 5-2 will be a crap shoot.

I\'m rooting for Tampa next week. If nothing else, we at least can win the tie-breaker against them if it comes down to that. Go Saints!

WhoDat 11-04-2003 10:33 AM

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Rooting for Tampa is a bad idea. Sorry, but there is NO WAY the Saints are going to win the division. Carolina is 6-2, and with two wins over the Saints they are FOUR games ahead of us. Sorry guys, but if the Saints go undefeated the rest of the season I don\'t think they can pick up four games on Carolina. If the Saints go UNDEFEATED the rest of this season Carolina would still have to go 4-4 for the Saints to beat them out. We all know that the Saints are not going to win their next seven straight. They MAY be able to go 5-2 and end up 9-7, but that means that Carolina will have to go 2-6 in the second half of the season. That ain\'t happening. I want the Saints to go to the playoffs. I\'m doubtful about it happening, but I at least want to root for realistic scenarios. Expecting Carolina to just tank, well, they\'d have to have a WORSE second half of the season this year than the Saints had last year for us to make it at 9-7. Sorry, there\'s just no way.

ScottyRo 11-04-2003 12:13 PM

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The other issue is that if the refs hadn\'t gotten all those calls wrong against us, the Panthers would have lost 3 in a row now and their confidence would surely be shaken to the core. Add in the fact that they shouldn\'t have beaten the Bucs earlier this year and they barley escaped losing to Indy (wasn\'t there a bad call there too?), and I see a team about to fall apart.

I would prefer the Bucs winning because we\'d need only 3 wins to the Panthers 3 losses to get ahead of them. The Panthers would be reeling having lost 3 of 4 (one of which was GIVEN to them).

On the other side, the Bucs would only be a game ahead of us and I feel like we can make that up when we play them at the dome.

Our best shot to make the playoffs is by being division leader. Had teams like the Giants and the Packers to lose last week I\'d feel better about our chances for a wild card.

Let\'s hope Seattle, Dallas, Minnesota and all the AFC teams win every week the rest of the way. (I know it\'s not possible, but we that\'s what we need.)

saintfan 11-04-2003 12:48 PM

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Sorry Whodat, but they\'re right. NOT \"FOUR\" games, but 2 and the tie breaker, and I\'ll tell ya, If the ball stops bouncing their way (and you have to admit it has) they are a VERY beatable team. ANYbody can beat Carolina, and if something were to happen to Stephen Davis (really their only weapon) they\'re screwed blue.

Makin the playoffs is a reach, and winning the division is an even bigger reach, but this is the NFL and anything can, and often does, happen. The fat lady isn\'t even warming up!

WhoDat 11-04-2003 01:42 PM

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OK guys, I\'ll make this as simple as possible. Right now today the Saints are 3.5 games out of first place in the division. The math is really quite simple. If Carolina wins on Sunday, then they will be 7-2. The Saints would have to win four games (making them 8-5), and Carolina would have to lose four games (making them 7-6) for the Saints to be in first place in the division. If Carolina loses on Sunday then they will be 6-3 and three full games ahead of the Saints. So, if you\'re thinking that the Saints can win this division then they are 3.5 games out right now, with 7 games to play.

It appears to me that the wishful thinking is coming back to this board. Carolina will collapse, Tampa won\'t ever get it in gear (even though they\'ve played exactly like they are now and kicked it into high gear in November and December every year for the last five except last year when they had it together all season long), and most importantly, the Saints will go 5-2 or better in their next seven.

OK guys. You all root for Tampa. Let me put it to you this way - anybody want to place a bet that the Saints will win this division? I\'ve got plenty of money to put up on that one.

ScottyRo 11-04-2003 02:17 PM

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You\'re right, WhoDat. I have since looked at the Panthers\' schedule the rest of the way and am less optimistic about their suffering a collapse. So? Back to your original plan, I guess. The rest of the way I\'ll be rooting for the division leaders and the AFC!


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