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WhoDat!656 11-30-2011 05:47 PM

From Peter King
 
We'd all concede the 6-5 Giants are at least an average NFL team this year, middle of the pack or slightly better, by virtue of winning six of their first eight, winning at New England and possessing a quarterback who can beat any team in the league, at any time, with the right supporting cast.

I say that to set Monday night in context -- and to look forward. The Saints are so loaded on offense that a running back who didn't dress, fourth-stringer Chris Ivory, would have been the best back for the Giants on Monday. (Heaven knows what's happened to tippy-toeing Brandon Jacobs, who used to be a bruising star. Now, except for an occasional glimpse of the physical back he used to be, Jacobs is a string-the-run-outside, wait-for-a-big-hole-that-never-comes waste of a starting spot. But that's another story.)

Drew Brees has one big star in the passing game: tight end Jimmy Graham. As for wideouts, he can distribute to five good ones who know how to adjust their routes to know what their superior quarterback wants. You can't execute a passing game better than Brees did Monday night, except for one throw -- his 18-inch overthrow of a sure touchdown to Lance Moore in the first half. (Talk about picking nits.)

After the game, I found myself thinking back to the season opener in Green Bay, won by the Packers 42-34. That night, each team scored a special teams touchdown -- New Orleans on a Darren Sproles punt return, Green Bay on a Randall Cobb kickoff return.

Other than the returns for touchdown, each team scored five times that night. The difference: Green Bay scored five touchdowns, while New Orleans scored three touchdowns and kicked two field goals. There were two turning points in the game, one early and one late. On the Saints' first possession, trailing 7-0, Marques Colston fumbled at his 36, and Green Bay quickly scored to make it 14-0. And in the last two minutes, down eight, New Orleans drove the length of the field, 79 yards, to the Packer one-yard line. On the last play of the game, Mark Ingram was stuffed at the one-foot line.

So the final score says Packers by eight, but the Saints were a yard away from a touchdown and possible two-point conversion that would have forced overtime.

My point: I'd love to see these two teams, the 8-3 Saints and the 11-0 Packers, meet again in January. Let's forecast the NFC playoffs.

Green Bay's a near-lock for the top seed, with the 9-2 Niners and 8-3 Saints likely at two and three (San Francisco has a cake schedule remaining, plus one conference loss versus the Saints' three, which would come in as the first playoff tiebreaker with the Saints.) Dallas has to be favored to win the East and be the fourth seed. In this scenario, a New Orleans win in the wild-card round would make them face San Francisco in the divisional round before a possible rematch in the championship game against Green Bay.

It's fun to consider, particularly when you look at the weapons Drew Brees has. They're richer in offense than they were in their Super Bowl-winning season of 2009. Graham is a top-three (and maybe top-one) offensive weapon at tight end, better than Jeremy Shockey. Darren Sproles is more electric and explosive than Reggie Bush. The Saints are four-deep at running back, far better than in '09.

"When you look at 2009, and you look at the guys we've added since 2009 -- Jimmy Graham, Darren Sproles, Mark Ingram -- it's not too shabby,'' Brees said after the rout of the Giants.

It's an offense even Aaron Rodgers could love.

Jack Del Rio, Jaguars divorce had to happen for struggling franchise - Peter King - SI.com

Danno 11-30-2011 06:48 PM

Quote:

Saints are so loaded on offense that a running back who didn't dress, fourth-stringer Chris Ivory, would have been the best back for the Giants on Monday
Truth!

foreverfan 11-30-2011 06:50 PM

Green Bay's a near-lock for the top seed, with the 9-2 Niners and 8-3 Saints likely at two and three (San Francisco has a cake schedule remaining, plus one conference loss versus the Saints' three, which would come in as the first playoff tiebreaker with the Saints.

CRAP

At least I'm starting to like Peter King.

Danno 11-30-2011 06:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by foreverfan (Post 353103)
Green Bay's a near-lock for the top seed, with the 9-2 Niners and 8-3 Saints likely at two and three (San Francisco has a cake schedule remaining, plus one conference loss versus the Saints' three, which would come in as the first playoff tiebreaker with the Saints.

CRAP

But if we were to catch SF, it would be because they lost to NFC teams, which is basically all they have left on their schedule.

foreverfan 11-30-2011 06:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Danno (Post 353105)
But if we were to catch SF, it would be because they lost to NFC teams, which is basically all they have left on their schedule.

So what are you saying? :help:

Danno 11-30-2011 07:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by foreverfan (Post 353106)
So what are you saying? :help:

That if it came down to a tie-breaker, Conference record may be irrelevant since in order for it to come to that SF will lose to NFC teams.

foreverfan 11-30-2011 07:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Danno (Post 353111)
That if it came down to a tie-breaker, Conference record may be irrelevant since in order for it to come to that SF will lose to NFC teams.

I was kidding. LOL :dunce:

Danno 11-30-2011 07:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by foreverfan (Post 353112)
I was kidding. LOL :dunce:

Oops, sorry, my meter must be off calibration.:p

pumpkindriver 11-30-2011 07:58 PM

I say that to set Monday night in context -- and to look forward. The Saints are so loaded on offense that a running back who didn't dress, fourth-stringer Chris Ivory, would have been the best back for the Giants on Monday. (Heaven knows what's happened to tippy-toeing Brandon Jacobs, who used to be a bruising star. Now, except for an occasional glimpse of the physical back he used to be, Jacobs is a string-the-run-outside, wait-for-a-big-hole-that-never-comes waste of a starting spot. But that's another story.)


I laughed so hard reading this paragraph, especially the line about
"tippy-toeing Brandon Jacobs.
Great post and fun read!

BringTheWood 11-30-2011 10:07 PM

I wouldn't be so worried about the 3 seed. Looks like we'd get to stomp the crap out of the dirty turds in the first round anyways. Can anyone say, BONUS?!


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