Champions are made in the 2nd half (1 Viewer)

BullDawg

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I've alluded to this before. Everyone gets all excited (and rightfully so most of the time) when their team comes out of the gates like gang-busters. The Saints did this posting a 6-2 record at the halfway point. Now, with a 2 game losing streak many fans have reverted back to the SameOleSaints-syndrome and the "maybe next years" aren't far behind. The Panthers have caught up and are now leading the NFC South by virtue of the earlier win over the Saints. Now, the talking heads who had preordained Carolina as the NFC entry in the Super Bowl are back at it.

Wait a minute.

Take a deep breath.

Championships are made in the 2nd half.

I'm on record (somewhere...maybe on the old board) as pointing out the Saints toughest stretch was in the middle of the season whereas Carolina's was at the end. I'm also on record (probably on the same thread) as saying the NFC South Championship game (and possibly homefield advantage) would be decided on New Years Eve in the Super Dome. I've gone as far as saying it would come down to the last play of the last game of the day (I think it's going to be the Sunday Night game).

Now, let's take a look at the respective schedules.


First Carolina

<table border="0" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="1" width="100%"><tbody><tr class="bg0" align="center"><td class="bg0" colspan="9">2006 Schedule</td></tr> <tr id="special" class="bg1" align="center"><td colspan="1" rowspan="2" align="left">Date</td><td colspan="1" rowspan="2" align="left">Opponent</td><td colspan="1" rowspan="2" align="left">Time/Result</td><td colspan="2" rowspan="1" align="center">SIRIUS Radio</td></tr> <tr class="bg1" align="center"><td>Away</td><td>Home</td></tr><tr class="bg2" align="right" height="17" valign="middle"><td align="left">Sep 10</td><td align="left">Atlanta</td><td align="left"> Lost 6-20</td><td align="center"> </td><td align="center">
</td></tr><tr class="bg2" align="right" height="17" valign="middle"><td align="left">Sep 17</td><td align="left">@Minnesota</td><td align="left"> Lost 13-16</td><td align="center"> </td><td align="center">
</td></tr><tr class="bg2" align="right" height="17" valign="middle"><td align="left">Sep 24</td><td align="left">@Tampa Bay</td><td align="left"> Won 26-24</td><td align="center"> </td><td align="center">
</td></tr><tr class="bg2" align="right" height="17" valign="middle"><td align="left">Oct 1</td><td align="left">New Orleans</td><td align="left"> Won 21-18</td><td align="center"> </td><td align="center">
</td></tr><tr class="bg2" align="right" height="17" valign="middle"><td align="left">Oct 8</td><td align="left">Cleveland</td><td align="left"> Won 20-12</td><td align="center"> </td><td align="center">
</td></tr><tr class="bg2" align="right" height="17" valign="middle"><td align="left">Oct 15</td><td align="left">@Baltimore</td><td align="left"> Won 23-21</td><td align="center"> </td><td align="center">
</td></tr><tr class="bg2" align="right" height="17" valign="middle"><td align="left">Oct 22</td><td align="left">@Cincinnati</td><td align="left"> Lost 14-17</td><td align="center"> </td><td align="center">
</td></tr><tr class="bg2" align="right" height="17" valign="middle"><td align="left">Oct 29</td><td align="left">Dallas</td><td align="left"> Lost 14-35</td><td align="center"> </td><td align="center">
</td></tr><tr class="bg2" align="right" height="17" valign="middle"><td align="left">Week 9</td><td align="left">BYE</td><td align="left"> </td><td align="center"> </td><td align="center">
</td></tr><tr class="bg2" align="right" height="17" valign="middle"><td align="left">Nov 13</td><td align="left">Tampa Bay</td><td align="left"> Won 24-10</td><td align="center"> </td><td align="center">
</td></tr><tr class="bg2" align="right" height="17" valign="middle"><td align="left">Nov 19</td><td align="left">St. Louis</td><td align="left"> Won 15-0</td><td align="center"> </td><td align="center">
</td></tr><tr class="bg2" align="right" height="17" valign="middle"><td align="left">Nov 26</td><td align="left">@Washington</td><td align="left"><script>document.write(formatTime('%I:%M%p', 1164564000))</script>1:00pm</td><td align="center">110</td><td align="center">143</td></tr><tr class="bg2" align="right" height="17" valign="middle"><td align="left">Dec 4</td><td align="left">@Philadelphia</td><td align="left"><script>document.write(formatTime('%I:%M%p', 1165282200))</script>8:30pm</td><td align="center">125</td><td align="center">123</td></tr><tr class="bg2" align="right" height="17" valign="middle"><td align="left">Dec 10</td><td align="left">N.Y. Giants</td><td align="left"><script>document.write(formatTime('%I:%M%p', 1165773600))</script>1:00pm</td><td align="center">153</td><td align="center">153</td></tr><tr class="bg2" align="right" height="17" valign="middle"><td align="left">Dec 17</td><td align="left">Pittsburgh</td><td align="left"><script>document.write(formatTime('%I:%M%p', 1166378400))</script>1:00pm</td><td align="center">152</td><td align="center">110</td></tr><tr class="bg2" align="right" height="17" valign="middle"><td align="left">Dec 24</td><td align="left">@Atlanta</td><td align="left"><script>document.write(formatTime('%I:%M%p', 1166983200))</script>1:00pm</td><td align="center">158</td><td align="center">118</td></tr><tr class="bg2" align="right" height="17" valign="middle"><td align="left">Dec 31</td><td align="left">@New Orleans</td><td align="left"><script>document.write(formatTime('%I:%M%p', 1167588000))</script>1:00pm</td><td align="center">117</td><td align="center">118</td></tr></tbody></table>
Philly, even without McNabb, is not going to be a cakewalk, especially on a Monday night in Philly. Next up are the Giants, followed by Pittsburgh. Then on the road for divisional rivalry games. Over the next 5 games I can easily see a 1-4 or 2-3 record. More than likely, they'll end up 3-2 with losses to the Giants and someone else along the way.

Now for the Saints
<table border="0" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="1" width="100%"><tbody><tr class="bg0" align="center"><td class="bg0" colspan="9">2006 Schedule</td></tr> <tr id="special" class="bg1" align="center"><td colspan="1" rowspan="2" align="left">Date</td><td colspan="1" rowspan="2" align="left">Opponent</td><td colspan="1" rowspan="2" align="left">Time/Result</td><td colspan="2" rowspan="1" align="center">SIRIUS Radio</td></tr> <tr class="bg1" align="center"><td>Away</td><td>Home</td></tr><tr class="bg2" align="right" height="17" valign="middle"><td align="left">Sep 10</td><td align="left">@Cleveland</td><td align="left"> Won 19-14</td><td align="center"> </td><td align="center">
</td></tr><tr class="bg2" align="right" height="17" valign="middle"><td align="left">Sep 17</td><td align="left">@Green Bay</td><td align="left"> Won 34-27</td><td align="center"> </td><td align="center">
</td></tr><tr class="bg2" align="right" height="17" valign="middle"><td align="left">Sep 25</td><td align="left">Atlanta</td><td align="left"> Won 23-3</td><td align="center"> </td><td align="center">
</td></tr><tr class="bg2" align="right" height="17" valign="middle"><td align="left">Oct 1</td><td align="left">@Carolina</td><td align="left"> Lost 18-21</td><td align="center"> </td><td align="center">
</td></tr><tr class="bg2" align="right" height="17" valign="middle"><td align="left">Oct 8</td><td align="left">Tampa Bay</td><td align="left"> Won 24-21</td><td align="center"> </td><td align="center">
</td></tr><tr class="bg2" align="right" height="17" valign="middle"><td align="left">Oct 15</td><td align="left">Philadelphia</td><td align="left"> Won 27-24</td><td align="center"> </td><td align="center">
</td></tr><tr class="bg2" align="right" height="17" valign="middle"><td align="left">Week 7</td><td align="left">BYE</td><td align="left"> </td><td align="center"> </td><td align="center">
</td></tr><tr class="bg2" align="right" height="17" valign="middle"><td align="left">Oct 29</td><td align="left">Baltimore</td><td align="left"> Lost 22-35</td><td align="center"> </td><td align="center">
</td></tr><tr class="bg2" align="right" height="17" valign="middle"><td align="left">Nov 5</td><td align="left">@Tampa Bay</td><td align="left"> Won 31-14</td><td align="center"> </td><td align="center">
</td></tr><tr class="bg2" align="right" height="17" valign="middle"><td align="left">Nov 12</td><td align="left">@Pittsburgh</td><td align="left"> Lost 31-38</td><td align="center"> </td><td align="center">
</td></tr><tr class="bg2" align="right" height="17" valign="middle"><td align="left">Nov 19</td><td align="left">Cincinnati</td><td align="left"> Lost 16-31</td><td align="center"> </td><td align="center">
</td></tr><tr class="bg2" align="right" height="17" valign="middle"><td align="left">Nov 26</td><td align="left">@Atlanta</td><td align="left"><script>document.write(formatTime('%I:%M%p', 1164564000))</script>1:00pm</td><td align="center">152</td><td align="center">153</td></tr><tr class="bg2" align="right" height="17" valign="middle"><td align="left">Dec 3</td><td align="left">San Francisco</td><td align="left"><script>document.write(formatTime('%I:%M%p', 1165168800))</script>1:00pm</td><td align="center">147</td><td align="center">147</td></tr><tr class="bg2" align="right" height="17" valign="middle"><td align="left">Dec 10</td><td align="left">@Dallas</td><td align="left"><script>document.write(formatTime('%I:%M%p', 1165773600))</script>1:00pm</td><td align="center">147</td><td align="center">147</td></tr><tr class="bg2" align="right" height="17" valign="middle"><td align="left">Dec 17</td><td align="left">Washington</td><td align="left"><script>document.write(formatTime('%I:%M%p', 1166378400))</script>1:00pm</td><td align="center">143</td><td align="center">147</td></tr><tr class="bg2" align="right" height="17" valign="middle"><td align="left">Dec 24</td><td align="left">@N.Y. Giants</td><td align="left"><script>document.write(formatTime('%I:%M%p', 1166983200))</script>1:00pm</td><td align="center">125</td><td align="center">125</td></tr><tr class="bg2" align="right" height="17" valign="middle"><td align="left">Dec 31</td><td align="left">Carolina</td><td align="left"><script>document.write(formatTime('%I:%M%p', 1167588000))</script>1:00pm</td><td align="center">117</td></tr></tbody></table>
Out of the next 5 games I can see a 2-3, 3-2 record. Hopefully I'm wrong and the Saints win all 5 games.

But suppose the Saints do go 3-2 over the stretch and end up 9-6 going into the Carolina game. It's just as easy to see Carolina also being 9-6.

The biggest game in the Super Dome for 2006 won't be the Monday Night coming home game, it's going to be the Carolina rematch.

Oh...and homefield advantage you say.

Look at the Giants remaining games.
<table border="0" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="1" width="100%"><tbody><tr class="bg0" align="center"><td class="bg0" colspan="9">2006 Schedule</td></tr> <tr id="special" class="bg1" align="center"><td colspan="1" rowspan="2" align="left">Date</td><td colspan="1" rowspan="2" align="left">Opponent</td><td colspan="1" rowspan="2" align="left">Time/Result</td><td colspan="2" rowspan="1" align="center">SIRIUS Radio</td></tr> <tr class="bg1" align="center"><td>Away</td><td>Home</td></tr><tr class="bg2" align="right" height="17" valign="middle"><td align="left">Sep 10</td><td align="left">Indianapolis</td><td align="left"> Lost 21-26</td><td align="center"> </td><td align="center">
</td></tr><tr class="bg2" align="right" height="17" valign="middle"><td align="left">Sep 17</td><td align="left">@Philadelphia</td><td align="left"> Won 30-24</td><td align="center"> </td><td align="center">
</td></tr><tr class="bg2" align="right" height="17" valign="middle"><td align="left">Sep 24</td><td align="left">@Seattle</td><td align="left"> Lost 30-42</td><td align="center"> </td><td align="center">
</td></tr><tr class="bg2" align="right" height="17" valign="middle"><td align="left">Week 4</td><td align="left">BYE</td><td align="left"> </td><td align="center"> </td><td align="center">
</td></tr><tr class="bg2" align="right" height="17" valign="middle"><td align="left">Oct 8</td><td align="left">Washington</td><td align="left"> Won 19-3</td><td align="center"> </td><td align="center">
</td></tr><tr class="bg2" align="right" height="17" valign="middle"><td align="left">Oct 15</td><td align="left">@Atlanta</td><td align="left"> Won 27-14</td><td align="center"> </td><td align="center">
</td></tr><tr class="bg2" align="right" height="17" valign="middle"><td align="left">Oct 23</td><td align="left">@Dallas</td><td align="left"> Won 36-22</td><td align="center"> </td><td align="center">
</td></tr><tr class="bg2" align="right" height="17" valign="middle"><td align="left">Oct 29</td><td align="left">Tampa Bay</td><td align="left"> Won 17-3</td><td align="center"> </td><td align="center">
</td></tr><tr class="bg2" align="right" height="17" valign="middle"><td align="left">Nov 5</td><td align="left">Houston</td><td align="left"> Won 14-10</td><td align="center"> </td><td align="center">
</td></tr><tr class="bg2" align="right" height="17" valign="middle"><td align="left">Nov 12</td><td align="left">Chicago</td><td align="left"> Lost 20-38</td><td align="center"> </td><td align="center">
</td></tr><tr class="bg2" align="right" height="17" valign="middle"><td align="left">Nov 20</td><td align="left">@Jacksonville</td><td align="left"><script>document.write(formatTime('%I:%M%p', 1164072600))</script>8:30pm</td><td align="center">125</td><td align="center">123</td></tr><tr class="bg2" align="right" height="17" valign="middle"><td align="left">Nov 26</td><td align="left">@Tennessee</td><td align="left"><script>document.write(formatTime('%I:%M%p', 1164575700))</script>4:15pm</td><td align="center">153</td><td align="center"> </td></tr><tr class="bg2" align="right" height="17" valign="middle"><td align="left">Dec 3</td><td align="left">Dallas</td><td align="left"><script>document.write(formatTime('%I:%M%p', 1165180500))</script>4:15pm</td><td align="center">130</td><td align="center">119</td></tr><tr class="bg2" align="right" height="17" valign="middle"><td align="left">Dec 10</td><td align="left">@Carolina</td><td align="left"><script>document.write(formatTime('%I:%M%p', 1165773600))</script>1:00pm</td><td align="center">153</td><td align="center">153</td></tr><tr class="bg2" align="right" height="17" valign="middle"><td align="left">Dec 17</td><td align="left">Philadelphia</td><td align="left"><script>document.write(formatTime('%I:%M%p', 1166378400))</script>1:00pm</td><td align="center">130</td><td align="center">119</td></tr><tr class="bg2" align="right" height="17" valign="middle"><td align="left">Dec 24</td><td align="left">New Orleans</td><td align="left"><script>document.write(formatTime('%I:%M%p', 1166983200))</script>1:00pm</td><td align="center">125</td><td align="center">125</td></tr><tr class="bg2" align="right" height="17" valign="middle"><td align="left">Dec 30</td><td align="left">@Washington</td><td align="left"><script>document.write(formatTime('%I:%M%p', 1167526800))</script>8:00pm</td><td align="center">125</td><td align="center">124</td></tr></tbody></table>
A 10-6 record isn't hard to imagine for the Giants either. If one of those losses is on Christmas Eve, oh boy. Mark 12/31 on your calendar folks. I have a feeling the fireworks won't be confined to the heralding in of 2007.
 

bclemms

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The AFC teams have killed us this year. I hope we can win just one more game against an AFC team.
 

SaintJ

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Typical ******* Panthers luck, they now get to play the Eagles without McNabb.
 

peglegpeet13

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Great post BullDawg. It is always simple to revert to the "Same-ol-Saints" card. I find it very aggravating. We have hit a rough spot, I really believe that it will correct itself starting this week against Atlanta. I am glad I have tickets, I plan on ringing in the New Year inside of the Dome:)
 

SaintJ

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They get the Giants and the Steelers at home too.
Well, we got the Bengals and Ravens at home, and failed to take care of business, but there ya go.

They also had the Cowboys at home and laid a huge egg.
 

Speck Killer

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The cream will rise to the top. November and December determine the year. Winning in Sept, and Oct is nice but this is when it really counts. We have to go on a winning streak so we can get hot going into the playoffs. Often times it is not the best team that makes noise in the playoffs but the hottest team. Give me an undefeated December and I would be one happy fan.
 

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