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papz 11-12-2012 06:46 AM

Lewis column: Still hope for Saints after win over Falcons
 
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NEW ORLEANS ó Thereís hope.

To be sure, as thrilling as Sundayís 31-27 victory against previously unbeaten Atlanta may have been, one game into the second half of the season, the Saints are still only 4-5, with more teams ahead of them than behind them in the NFC.

But those four victories have come in the last five games following that execrable 0-4 start.

And, as the NFL so helpfully pointed out Sunday, since 2000, 29 teams have reached the halfway point of the season with a .500-or- below record and still made the playoffs, including at least one each year.

Winning the NFC South probably is out of reach. Despite Sundayís loss, the Falcons are still four games ahead of the Saints with seven to go, including a rematch 17 days from now in Atlanta.

And they donít have the look of a team about to fold.

You also can probably slot one of the two wild-card spots to either Chicago or Green Bay. That missed opportunity in Lambeau Field may come back to haunt the Saints even more than the home collapse against Kansas City.

Of the other NFC playoff contenders, Seattle, 6-4 after a 28-7 victory against the New York Jets on Sunday, look to be the hardest team to catch. And since the Saints donít play them, thereís no opportunity to gain a head-to-head advantage.

Still, itís fun to speculate.

Read more: Lewis column: Still hope for Saints after win over Falcons | Saints | The Advocate — Baton Rouge, LA


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