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Stealthman 09-04-2013 09:02 PM

2013 NFC CONTENDERS' CORNER (Playoff Contenders' Info) Week 1
 
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Well, WhoDats… it’s that time of the season. BlackandGold.com will once again bring you this weekly feature on NFC teams as the weeks go by. Saints fans are obviously excited because of the return of head coach Sean Payton, whose presence and leadership have a way of getting the most out of his team. The Saints have also made key moves in the offseason, bringing in Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan, who appears to have the defense ready to make a leap from worst to among the NFL best (top 50 %). In typical fashion, Coach Payton has kept his word to the players in preseason camp by letting the BEST players make the final 53. The Saints have ten (10) rookies (draft picks and undrafted free agents) on this squad: nearly 20%! But don’t let those stats fool you: This should be one of the best Saints’ teams in recent memory. And barring injury, the Saints will likely go marching in to the postseason in 2013.

With that, let’s take a look at the contests that have an impact on the 2013 NFC standings:

Thursday September 5th

Week 1, Game 1: Ravens (0-0) @ Broncos (0-0)

N/A: AFC opponents

Vegas odds on this game: Broncos by 7- ½ .


Sunday September 8th

Week 1, Game 2: Patriots (0-0) @ Bills (0-0))

N/A: AFC opponents

Vegas odds on this game: Patriots by 11.


Week 1, Game 3: Titans (0-0) @ Steelers (0-0)

N/A: AFC opponents.


Week 1, Game 4: Falcons (0-0) @ Saints (0-0)

a. Why it is important: Both teams are NFC South rivals. If you remove partisan homerism, the Saints are facing the defending NFC South Champions, and a team that nearly won the NFC Championship last season. They have questions on their O-line, but know how to pull together. They should be a stout opponent, especially with their passing game. Stephen Jackson appears to have something left in the tank, and Jacquiz Rogers is a capable runner. So the Saints cannot afford to just pin their ears back with a blitz all game long; they have to play a managed and disciplined game. Do not underestimate the significance of the return of Head Coach Sean Payton. The Saints appear poised to continue their lethal assault on the NFL with the return of Drew Brees and the Saints’ offense. Although the running game may appear suspect by some, Pierre Thomas looks to be in the best shape in his career. Remember, when healthy, Pierre is capable of being a carrying an offense. He once had 100+ yards rushing and 100+ yards receiving in a game vs. the Chicago Bears (on the road). He is sleek, ripped, and a step quicker. Behind Thomas are Sproles, Ingram, K. Robinson and Cadet. Looking to the receiving corps, veterans Marques Colston and Lance Moore are solid. Rookie Kenny Stills and 2nd year man Toon have the ability to stretch the field. Recently signed Robert Meachem returns to the Saints, and if healthy, is a very capable anchor to this talented receiving corps. The NFL-worst defense in 2012 (total yardage surrendered) is in the rear view mirror. Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan (one of NFL legend Buddy Ryan’s two sons) is a mad scientist whose defenses thrive on mismatches, disguised coverage and schemes, and knows how to put his players in the best position to succeed. The Saints defensive line is a load, and the new 3-4 scheme is returning for the first time since the Dome Patrol dominance in the late 80’s & early 90’s. The linebackers are now a strength, and the secondary has been upgraded at cornerback & free safety. This should be one of the most memorable season-openers in Saints’ history.

b. Desired outcome: WhoDat: Pull for the Saints! A win here coupled with a Panthers’ loss to the Seahawks will put the Saints in sole possession of first place. The Bucs play on the road at the Jets. Even if the Bucs win, the Saints would have a 1-0 record in the NFC and NFC South.

c. Confidence factor for a good outcome: 6 out of 10

d. Vegas odds on this game: Saints by 3.


Week 1, Game 5: Buccaneers (0-0) @ Jets (0-0)

a. Why it is important: Bucs are an NFC South rival.

b. Desired outcome: Pull for the Jets. The Jets are in disarray on offense with the injury to Mark Sanchez. Rookie Geno Smith, who hasn’t been impressive in the preseason, has been named as the starter. He is a wildcard, and can throw the Bucs off if he somehow finds his game. But if the Jets are conservative in the passing game and pound-the-rock (with running backs Bilal Powell and Chris Ivory), they have a shot at a mild upset.

c. Confidence factor for a good outcome: 4.5 out of 10

d. Vegas odds on this game: Buccaneers by 4.


Week 1, Game 6: Chiefs (0-0) @ Jaguars (0-0)

N/A: AFC opponents

Vegas odds on this game: Chiefs by 4.


Week 1, Game 7: Bengals (0-0) @ Bears (0-0)

a. Why it is important: Bears are an NFC rival.

b. Desired outcome: Pull for the Bengals. The NFC North will likely return to
being known as the “Black and Blue” division. It does not appear that any one team (Bears, Lions, Packers or Vikings) will run away with the crown. First guess also indicates that the only playoff team here will have to win the division outright; wildcard not likely from NFC North in 2013. Bengals are a very good team, and I like their chances in this one.

c. Confidence factor for a good outcome: 5.5 out of 10

d. Vegas odds on this game: Bears by 3.


Week 1, Game 8: Dolphins (0-0) @ Browns (0-0)

N/A: AFC opponents.

Vegas odds on this game: Browns by 1.


Week 1, Game 9: Seahawks (0-0) @ Panthers (0-0)

a. Why it is important: Both teams are NFC rivals; Panthers are also an NFC South. Panthers have given the Saints the most trouble of all NFC South opponents since Sean Payton has been Saints’ head coach. The Panthers also have a very stout defense, and almost always play well at home. Seahawks are a prohibitive favorite to make the playoffs, as well as challenge the 49’ers for the NFC West crown.

b. Desired outcome: Neither outcome is great; neither outcome is lousy. As a Saints’ fan, you can make an argument either way on who you’d like to LOSE. But all other factors aside, this early in the season you need to pull for your DIVISION RIVAL to choke. Pull for the Seahawks.

c. Confidence factor for a good outcome: 5.5 out of 10

d. Vegas odds on this game: Seahawks by 4- ½ .


Week 1, Game 10: Vikings (0-0) @ Lions (0-0)

a. Why it is important: Both teams are NFC rivals. Adrian Peterson may have a tough time getting past that formidable Lions’ D-line. But he’s always a threat to break one at any time. The Lions will be very dangerous if Megatron is back. This, along with Reggie Bush in the backfield may make for a very interesting contest in this one. Vegas likes the Lions in this one, but I don’t see how they have them favored by so much.

b. Desired outcome: Pull for the Lions.

c. Confidence factor for a good outcome: 4.5 out of 10

d. Vegas odds on this game: Lions by 5- ½.


Week 1, Game 11: Raiders (0-0) @ Colts (0-0)

N/A: AFC opponents

Vegas odds on this game: Colts by 10.


Week 1, Game 12: Cardinals (0-0) @ Rams (0-0)

a. Why it is important: Both teams are NFC rivals. Both teams are improved, and Fitzgerald now has a legitimate QB throwing him the ball: Carson Palmer.

b. Desired outcome: Toss-up. I won’t try to argue one way or the other. How about an NFL first with both teams forfeiting the game? Seriously, at this point, I say pull for the Rams. Cardinals may be a bit stronger in their final 53, and might more of a threat for a possible playoff spot. Again, it’s anybody’s call.

c. Confidence factor for a good outcome: 5.5 out of 10

d. Vegas odds on this game: Rams by 4- ½.


Week 1, Game 13: Packers (0-0) @ 49’ers (0-0)

a. Why it is important: Both teams are NFC rivals. 49’ers are picked by many to take the NFC crown for the second straight year. The Packers will have their work cut out for them ON THE ROAD vs. arguably the toughest defense in the NFL.

b. Desired outcome: Pull for the Packers. If the Packers can force a couple of turnovers while having none, they may be able to sneak out with a “W.”

c. Confidence factor for a good outcome: 4 out of 10

d. Vegas odds on this game: 49’ers by 5.


(SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL)

Week 1, Game 14: Giants (0-0) @ Cowboys (0-0)

a. Why it is important: Both teams are NFC rivals. This is an absolute grudge match, and the Cowboys have not forgotten that the Giants knocked them out of a playoff spot last season. The Giants also ruined the Cowboys’ debut in their new stadium a few years back. This should be a barnburner, with playoff implications (even this early in the season).

b. Desired outcome: Toss up. Don’t ask me, because I CANNOT ask anyone to pull for one of these two teams (guess which one?).

c. Confidence factor for a good outcome: 5 out of 5.

d. Vegas odds on this game: Cowboys by 3- ½.


Monday September 9th

Week 1, Game 15: Eagles (0-0) @ Redskins (0-0)

a. Why it is important: Both teams are NFC rivals. RG-III has been named as the starter, and the stadium @ Washington D.C. will be rowdy and filled to capacity. Andy Reid is no longer the HC at Philly (now HC for the Chiefs), and it will be interesting to see how the Eagles respond to their new leadership.

b. Desired outcome: Pull for the Eagles. The ‘Skins return as the reigning NFC East champs, and will be a strong contender again this season.

c. Confidence factor for a good outcome: 4 out of 10.

d. Vegas odds on this game: Redskins by 5.


Week 1, Game 16: Texans (0-0) @ Chargers (0-0)

N/A: AFC opponents

Vegas odds on this game: Texans by 5.


News from Enemy Camps (Week1):

2012 NFC South Champ (Falcons: 13-3): Atlanta Falcons Rumors & News: Pro Sports Daily

2012 NFC East Champ (Redskins: 10-6): Washington Redskins Rumors & News: Pro Sports Daily

2012 NFC North Champ (Packers: 11-5): Green Bay Packers Rumors & News: Pro Sports Daily

2012 NFC West Champ: (49’ers: 11-4-1): San Francisco 49ers Rumors & News: Pro Sports Daily

|Mitch| 09-04-2013 09:04 PM

Re: 2013 NFC CONTENDERS' CORNER (Playoff Contenders' Info) Week 1
 
Very Nice!

saintfan 09-04-2013 09:05 PM

Re: 2013 NFC CONTENDERS' CORNER (Playoff Contenders' Info) Week 1
 
Love this - glad you're back again for a 2nd season!

homerj07 09-04-2013 09:43 PM

Re: 2013 NFC CONTENDERS' CORNER (Playoff Contenders' Info) Week 1
 
Very nice. I enjoyed that.

Stealthman 09-05-2013 10:05 AM

Re: 2013 NFC CONTENDERS' CORNER (Playoff Contenders' Info) Week 1
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by saintfan (Post 523546)
Love this - glad you're back again for a 2nd season!

Thanks, but I've been with the site for over a decade.

NOLA54 09-05-2013 04:24 PM

Re: 2013 NFC CONTENDERS' CORNER (Playoff Contenders' Info) Week 1
 
I know it is important to take this one game at a time but this is too anal for me.

Rugby Saint II 09-05-2013 05:08 PM

Re: 2013 NFC CONTENDERS' CORNER (Playoff Contenders' Info) Week 1
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Stealthman (Post 523684)
Thanks, but I've been with the site for over a decade.

Stealthman has a lot to offer.......thanks for sharing. I like to know this kind of stuff.:bng:

Stealthman 09-06-2013 08:26 PM

Re: 2013 NFC CONTENDERS' CORNER (Playoff Contenders' Info) Week 1
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by NOLA54 (Post 523754)
I know it is important to take this one game at a time but this is too anal for me.

Please explain; you lost me on this one.

:bng:

saintfan 09-06-2013 08:35 PM

Re: 2013 NFC CONTENDERS' CORNER (Playoff Contenders' Info) Week 1
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Stealthman (Post 523684)
Thanks, but I've been with the site for over a decade.

Me too. We're both circa 2002 - I just meant I remember these being done last year. Have you done them all along? Am I on 'da crack? :beer:

Stealthman 09-08-2013 09:55 AM

Re: 2013 NFC CONTENDERS' CORNER (Playoff Contenders' Info) Week 1
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by saintfan (Post 524189)
Me too. We're both circa 2002 - I just meant I remember these being done last year. Have you done them all along? Am I on 'da crack? :beer:

It was kinda tough keeping faith alive near the end of the 2012 season... when we knew it was only a snowball's chance in a Texas July heatwave for us to make the postseason.

This year is different! WhoDat!

:bng:


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