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SaintFanInATLHELL 11-23-2004 08:22 AM

Let's talk about the playoffs.
"PLAYOFFS???!!!" - Jim Mora

Yes playoffs. Not about the Saints though. The Saints and the playoffs is a discussion reserved for 2005, where hopefully a new football front office and a new coaching staff can find a way to get the team to play disiplined defense and consistent offsense.

It looks like the Final Four this year has started to separate from the pack. New England, Philly, Pittsburg, and unfortunately the Atlanta Falcons each have 2 losses or less and a 2 games or more lead in their divisions. Barring massive meltdowns by them or really hot streaks from the teams behind them, these four will clinch byes and a home game in the divisional round with only two games to win to get to the SB.

In the AFC the other races are hotly contested. San Diego looks for real, as the Saints can clearly attest to, as does Denver, again as the Saints can clearly attest to being outscored by a combined 77-30 between the two. Considering
that both are playing relatively weak sisters down the stretch (except for a game each against Indy) the division may come down to the final December 5th showdown for all the marbles. If Denver wins that game, they are in the drivers seat having swept the series against the Chargers.

In the South Indy is in the driver's seat once again with a one game lead on Jacksonville. But as we well know poor defense often leads to poor results, and Indy's defense is just a hair's breadth better than ours statistically.

The wild card race will be wild. Every second place team in the AFC has at least 6 wins, with Baltimore and Jets both with 7. So the stretch run will end up with 4 teams vying for the division, and 6 trying to make sure to slide into the remaining 2 WC slots after the division races are finished.

The NFC wild card is equally jumbled. Philly and Atlanta are virtual locks for the top two spots. Atlanta has 4 games against the fading South division, Oakland at home, and a regular season ending game against Seattle. A 5-1 or 6-0 record down the stretch isn't out of the question. Philly's remaining tough games looks to be against Cincy and Green Bay, with the rest against relatively weak NFC East teams and the Rams who have lost 3 of their last 4 games.

In the North GB seems to have come to play while the Vikings have finally stopped the bleeding at least temporarily. The Christmas Eve game between the two may turn out to be the clincher, with GB having the upper hand due to their earlier win at Lambeau. But with Moss back, and indoors won a fast track, anything can happen.

The West can be interesting down the stretch because Seattle loses the head to head tiebreaker with the Rams due to being swept in the season series. So while the standings show Seattle up a game, it's really a virtual tie. Seattle has a tough road with games against a resurging Buffalo team, Minnesota, the Jets, and Atlanta (which may or may not be relavent to the Falcons at that point). The Rams have a eqally tough finish with GB, Philly, Arizona, and the Jets along with a rematch against Carolina. It's very likely this races goes to the wire with the winner getting into the wild card round and the loser possibly going home. Don't be surprised if 9-7 wins the division. Also don't laugh at the fact that Arizona may come back to bite both of them. They have a relatively weak schedule with only the Jets as a potential playoff contender other than the two leaders who they each get another shot at.

The Wild card is wide wide open in the NFC especially for that last slot. There is the potential that 8-8 may get that slot with tiebreakers, so teams like the Cards, Giants, Detroit, and yes even Chicago and Tampa Bay still have a shot.

And I have to say it. Mathematically the Saints are still in it. And with 4 relatively weak games (Carolina, TB, Dallas) miracles could happen. But as I started this post...

"PLAYOFFS???!!!" - Jim Mora

SaintFanInATLHELL 11-23-2004 04:59 PM

Let's talk about the playoffs.
Bump. Just wanted to make sure everyone got a chance to see it.


BlackandBlue 11-23-2004 05:18 PM

Let's talk about the playoffs.
Buccs will hand us our ass

BrooksMustGo 11-23-2004 06:00 PM

Let's talk about the playoffs.

Buccs will hand us our ass
I predict an NFL record day from Brian Griese.

mutineer10 11-23-2004 08:46 PM

Let's talk about the playoffs.
Hey, what was that prediction around the time of the Oakland game ... 10-6 (and the division)?

The Saints have just been setting the table for a sweep, LOL!!!

[Edited on 24/11/2004 by mutineer10]

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