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Ranking the New Orleans Saints potential Wildcard opponents

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Decent article, although I disagree with some of it, namely Dallas not losing in the Superdome. Assuming the New Orleans Saints win the NFC South, they will host a wildcard playoff game in the Superdome. Of the seven NFC teams ...

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Old 12-04-2014, 07:55 AM   #1
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Ranking the New Orleans Saints potential Wildcard opponents

Decent article, although I disagree with some of it, namely Dallas not losing in the Superdome.

Assuming the New Orleans Saints win the NFC South, they will host a wildcard playoff game in the Superdome. Of the seven NFC teams in the hunt, who can the Saints most likely defeat in round one? Dan Salem and Todd Salem debate in todayís NFL TD Sports Debate. Two brothers from New York yell, scream and debate the NFL and sports.



TODD:

Iím beginning this with the premise that the Atlanta Falcons are not going to win the NFC South. They are an atrociously coached football team with some good skill position players and little else. With games remaining against Green Bay, Pittsburgh and at New Orleans, their season is over, and Mike Smith should be fired before it even comes to that.

The New Orleans Saints are going to enter the playoffs at something ranging from 7-9 to 9-7, as the champions of the NFC South division and the fourth seed. They will host the better of the two wildcard teams.

At this point, that team could be anybody: Green Bay, Detroit, Philly, Dallas, Arizona, Seattle or even San Fran.

My question is who would the Saints have a chance of defeating in the playoffs if they were to host one of these teams?

The Packers and Seahawks appear to be rounding into shape, so I would say those are both noís. Even as bad as New Orleans has been this season, no one else is a surefire advance through the Superdome.

If I had to rank the remaining teams in order of likelihood that the Saints could take them out in a first-round home dog upset:

1. Arizona Ė Obviously. My feelings on this team have been well documented.

2. Dallas Ė The defense is wearing down. New Orleans could light it up for sure.

3. Philadelphia Ė Similar to Dallas in that the defense is coming back to earth. Also, Mark Sanchez on the road in the playoffs.

4. San Francisco Ė Weíre still not sure if this team is any good, but Iíd be terrified of Colin Kaepernick all the same if I were the Saints in this matchup.

5. Detroit Ė The defense is still among the best in the league, and Calvin Johnson finally looks healthy.

DAN:

Iím completely against firing a coach during the regular season, but we agree that the New Orleans Saints are holding off the pesky Falcons for the NFC South division title. Although I donít feel nearly as solid about this prediction as you do. The Saints scare the hell out of me.

Luckily for New Orleans and for this debate, their remaining schedule of December games is highly favorable. If the Saints donít win out, I find it hard to believe they will escape that wildcard matchup awaiting them in the playoffs. Carolina, Chicago, Atlanta, and Tampa Bay are all bad teams. The face off with Atlanta is the only game that should be close, but as New Orleans proved last week against Pittsburgh, never count out an opponent when facing the Saintsí defense.

The wildcard matchup that favors the Saints, the team they can best defeat, is the one with the worst starting quarterback. As Big Ben proved last Sunday, top passing attacks can and will shred the New Orleans Saints over the course of four quarters of football. Their rushing defense isnít much better but their offense has put up points, so looking towards opponents with weakening defenses was a smart first move. I however, disagree.

The Saints have a strong enough offense to counter solid defensive play, so itís really a weaker offense that will fall to New Orleans in the wildcard round. I too will eliminate the Green Bay Packers from my top five, but Iím not on board with the Seahawks just yet. Iím eliminating the Dallas Cowboys instead. The Thanksgiving massacre aside, the Cowboys run the ball so well that the Saints offense would barely see the field. Plus they are undefeated on the road. The Cowboys are not losing in the Superdome.

Hereís my ranking, in order of most likely to lose to New Orleans:

1. Detroit Lions Ė Their offense has been so stagnant I canít trust them, especially not on the road. This is an exception to my rule above. The Lions are evening out into an average football team with little playoff experience.

2. San Francisco 49ers Ė I see a consistent pattern of one step forward, two steps back and a desire, for some crazy insane reason, to either trade or fire their head coach. This is great news for the rest of the league, but bad news for the 49ers. They donít escape the Superdome either.

3. Arizona Cardinals Ė Iím now into shaky territory. The Cardinals vs Saints game is a tossup. Arizona has an unproven quarterback, but a stellar team all around. I smell a dogfight.

4. Seattle Seahawks Ė Its looking like Seattle will win their division, but if they fall into a wildcard berth then traveling to New Orleans will be no picnic. If the Saints can marginalize the run game, I havenít seen enough out of Seattleís passing attack to think it can win a shootout with Drew Brees.

5. Philadelphia Eagles Ė I donít think the Eagles lose to the Saints, but for the purposes of debate they fall in as the least likely candidate to lose to New Orleans. If the Saints can get to Mark Sanchez, cause him to commit several of his patented turnovers, and keep the Eagles special teams unit from scoring touchdowns, then I see a Saintsí victory.

My preseason pick to represent the NFC in the Superbowl is certainly on shaky ground, but starting the playoffs at home goes a long way towards mustering up that old postseason experience and kicking things up a notch. Has a team with a losing record ever made the Super Bowl? If anyone can do it, the Saints can.

Ranking the New Orleans Saints potential Wildcard opponents

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Old 12-04-2014, 08:12 AM   #2
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Re: Ranking the New Orleans Saints potential Wildcard opponents

The first guy calls a potential Saints home game as home dog upset?
We would be favored against almost all 7 of those teams

all speculation until we win the next 3
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Old 12-04-2014, 09:20 AM   #3
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Re: Ranking the New Orleans Saints potential Wildcard opponents

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Old 12-04-2014, 11:57 AM   #4
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Re: Ranking the New Orleans Saints potential Wildcard opponents

I'm glad that someone finally told me what to think...again.
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Old 12-04-2014, 01:42 PM   #5
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Re: Ranking the New Orleans Saints potential Wildcard opponents

I concur ... the Lions just getting to the playoffs is their SuperBowl, .
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Old 12-04-2014, 03:10 PM   #6
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Re: Ranking the New Orleans Saints potential Wildcard opponents

Originally Posted by SloMotion View Post
I concur ... the Lions just getting to the playoffs is their SuperBowl, .
Your boys have the easiest path of all the top teams in the NFC. Good chance they'll win the next 3 before the finale in GB.
That game will probably decide their fate and ours
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Old 12-05-2014, 04:26 AM   #7
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Re: Ranking the New Orleans Saints potential Wildcard opponents

Originally Posted by ScottF View Post
Your boys have the easiest path of all the top teams in the NFC. Good chance they'll win the next 3 before the finale in GB.
That game will probably decide their fate and ours
Yep, been there, done that ... Lambeau the last week of December ... brrr! It's the original twelfth-man, if you ask me.
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Old 12-05-2014, 01:32 PM   #8
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Re: Ranking the New Orleans Saints potential Wildcard opponents

Originally Posted by ScottF View Post

all speculation until we win the next 3
and that is all!
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Old 12-05-2014, 03:37 PM   #9
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Re: Ranking the New Orleans Saints potential Wildcard opponents

If P Rob doesn't back track again our secondary might stand a chance. But my biggest concern at this point is the offensive line.....which has been pretty offensive so far. However for some reason they played well enough last week to get a win. If they continue their to elevate their play we might be onto something.
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Old 12-05-2014, 03:41 PM   #10
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Re: Ranking the New Orleans Saints potential Wildcard opponents

Originally Posted by Rugby Saint II View Post
If P Rob doesn't back track again our secondary might stand a chance. But my biggest concern at this point is the offensive line.....which has been pretty offensive so far. However for some reason they played well enough last week to get a win. If they continue their to elevate their play we might be onto something.
Agreed on P Rob.

O line had a good game but is far from good enough IMO. Playoff teams will expose the middle and cause problems with 4 rushers.
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