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Saints may be next!

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Making the playoffs is a tough task in the NFL. There's all kind of scenarios that will get a team to the playoffs, but, the best way is for a team to take care of business within their division. Division ...

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Old 02-25-2005, 09:51 AM   #1
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Saints may be next!

Making the playoffs is a tough task in the NFL. There's all kind of scenarios that will get a team to the playoffs, but, the best way is for a team to take care of business within their division.

Division games have more meaning than games outside the division and usually determine the winner of the division.

While the NFC East and other divisions are looked at as the power-houses of the NFL, it has been the NFC South that has made more noise the past few seasons.

Consider that the Bucs won the super bowl in 2002, the Panthers were the represenitives for the NFC in the 2003 super bowl, and the Falcons made it to the NFC championship in 2004.

That's a tough division by anyone's standards!

But, every year is different in the NFL and the balance of power appears to be shifting in the NFC South. Tampa has gone from champs to chumps and are now in salary cap hell. The Panthers went from the super bowl to 7-9 the following season. And the Saints, well ... they've been consistently hoovering around .500 for the past few seasons!

While predicting the NFC South is about like trying to pick the winning lotto numbers, the division looks like a close race between 3 teams.

The Falcons appear to be the most likely candidate of capturing the division crown. When Vick is healthy, he gives the offense a chance of scoring anytime they are on the field. And the running game with Duckett and Warrick Dunn are solid behind an Alex Gibbs' coached offensive line. However, Gibbs recently retired and this could have a negative effect on the offensive line. The players on the offesive line aren't going to over-power anyone and are only effective because of their technique.

On defense the Falcons are pretty solid across the board. They have a very good pass rush, a big tackle in the middle, and outstanding linebackers. And the secondary has a good mixture of verterans and youth.

The only major weakness the Falcons have is at wide receiver. They need that one guy who can make plays and open everything up for the other receivers. And, of course, they also have a probowl TE!

If I had to pick a winner of the NFC South, it would be the Falcons.

The next most likely candidate to win the NFC South would be the Carolina Panthers. They were beset by injuries this past season. Mostly on defense. But the offense wasn't spared either. WR Steve Smith and RB Stephen Davis also were placed on injured reserve. All of the injured players shold be back this season.

However, the Panthers have a weak offensive line and they might not be able to resign WR Mushin Muhammad. And Stephen Davis is at the age where injuries are more common. The Panthers made it through the 2003 season with a very healthy team on their way to the super bowl. And some very lucky breaks here and there.


The Saints aren't far behind the Falcons or the Panthers. Deuce McAllister is the best RB in the NFC South. Joe Horn, Donte' Stallworth, Jerome Pathon, and Devery Henderson make the WR some of the fastest in the NFL. Although, there's nobody behind Joe Horn who has proven himself, there is a lot of talent there. If the offensive line gets taken care of in the offseason, this should be the best offense in the NFC South.

That leaves the defense for the Saints. This offseason is a little different for the defense this year. The cornerbacks aren't much of a concern. The linebackers, while they need an infusion of talent, aren't nearly as weak with Courtney Watson and Colby Bockwoldt. And the pass rush of Will Smith, Charles Grant, and Daren Howard is second to none in the NFC South.

As frustrated as Saints' fans are, keep in mind that this team is very close to putting it all together. A LB here an offesive tackle there and the Saints might be the ones looking down at the rest of the NFC South.

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Old 02-25-2005, 10:44 AM   #2
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Saints may be next!

Sometimes I think the offseason is the best season for Saints fans -- that is where we always dream of better times -- dream that we are 1 player away from reaching our potential -- talk about the one play that had it happened differently would have turned our season around. Every year I say I am not going to fall into that trap --- and every year I am sucked right back into a fantasy that usually turns into a nightmarish reality -- well this year is no different -- 2006 TimesPicayune headlines: \"ITS AN EARLY MARDI GRAS ON BOURBON STREET AS SAINTS WIN SUPERBOWL -- FANS GO WILD -- CITY SHUTS DOWN --- MAYOR DECLARES MONDAY A STATE HOLIDAY\" :soleil: :givebeer:

\"I have a photographic memory -- I just don\'t have any film.\"
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Old 02-25-2005, 10:59 AM   #3
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Saints may be next!

The NFC South is the weakest division in all of football.

Over the last two years, its the only division to have only one team with a winning record.
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Old 02-25-2005, 11:10 AM   #4
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Saints may be next!

4saintspirit, psst...
http://www.blackandgold.net/site/mod...hread&tid=8077
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Old 02-25-2005, 11:15 AM   #5
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LKelly67 --- didn\'t see that one -- pretty good (but predictable thread). Kinda knew that AB would be brought up and could even predict which side of the fence people would fall
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Old 02-25-2005, 01:16 PM   #6
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Saints may be next!

The NFC South is the weakest division in all of football.

Over the last two years, its the only division to have only one team with a winning record.
This could be a true statement except for one very big statistic: Teams in the NFC South have represented the NFC in the Super Bowl two out of the last three years and have been in the NFC Championship three years in a row. Hard to rationalize that the NFC South as the weakest division based purely on that stat alone!
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