Know who to pull for: week 13 (1 Viewer)

st dude

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Several years ago the NFL refined its plan to bring parity to the league. Looking at the NFC where no one team really stands out, some might call it mediocrity. Personally I think other leagues have a lot to learn from the NFL where the playing field stays so level any team, any year, has a chance to turn it around.

The draft is set up to give losing teams first shot at the talent. The salary cap keeps one team from buying all the talent(like the yankees do). The scheduling system gives weaker teams easier schedules. Free agency is set up so you get compensated if you lose more players than you get. Its a very clever system the NFL devised.

Like it or not, it works. We are in week 13 and 11 out of 16 teams remain in the hunt. And the best teams are susceptible to upset by the 5 teams out of the hunt. I dont think anyone here would be surprised if the bears were to lose to the packers. Twenty years ago a bottom team would have been 3 touchdown underdogs to the 49ers, nowadays 7 points is a big spread.

The saints are in great shape. If they beat the 49ers my guess is a win over Dallas or NY would be enough to get a wild card. Whichever of these teams the saints beat would likely be 9-7 with the saints and lose a tiebreak. If the saints beat two more games, one of them being carolina, they could win the division at 9-7. 10-6 probably will win the south. A 10-6 saints team might even get a bye in the playoffs.

The playoff contending teams look like this:

Bears 9-2
Saints 7-4
Cowboys 7-4
Seattle 7-4
Panthers 6-5
Giants 6-5
Philly 5-6
Falcons 5-6
Rams 5-6
SF 5-6
Vikings 5-6

2-9 Arizona at 5-6 St. Louis - You know, most forum saints fans see us as so much better than the 5-6 teams and do not worry about them. I think its a mistake to count out these teams. One of the five bottom feeders is going to climb back in the wildcard race. The saints have one of the tougher schedules going in. If we lose this week we fall back into the pack. So it helps every time a team gets eliminated. The rams will probably win, but we dont want them to.

5-6 Atlanta at 4-7 Washington - Yes, we played well against the falcons but the ball did bounce our way. I thought Vick had a whale of a game. Take away the hail mary we got and the touchdown catch White dropped which Dan in laf could have scored on and we might have lost. Funny, its usually us saying but for this play here or there we would have won. I am not counting the birds out but pretty much will if they lose this week. For some reason I bet they beat the skins, but we are pulling for the skins for sure.

5-6 Minnesota at 9-2 Chicago - You know, most know who to pull for games are no brainers, this one is not. If we win the division at, say 11-5, we could maybe be tied with the bears and get home field advantage. On the other hand, if we fall back and the Vikings win, they could be the 5-6 team that gets a wild card. I am going to be conservative on this and pull for the bears to eliminate the vikes, but its a game open to discussion. One thing for sure, the bears are beatable. Would Chicago kill for a Drew Brees at qb?

7-4 Dallas at 6-5 N.Y. Giants - Well, here is the big game to watch for many reasons. If the Giants win its even money that one of these teams makes the playoffs as the division champ and one as a wild card. If NY loses, Dallas becomes a heavy favorite to win the division and the Giants are in trouble. Add to the drama that we have to play both these teams on the road, games we will likely be underdogs in. If we lose both games we lose the tiebreaker with potential wildcard teams. I say pull for Dallas and put the giants in wildcard jeopardy. If I wasnt a saints fan though, I would be pulling for the giants to make that division even more interesting and to see. I predict the giants win and Romo struggles. If Romo gets replaced or hurt down the road, I predict Jessica Simpson drops him the same week.

6-5 Carolina at 5-6 Philadelphia - This is a great game for saints fans. Naturally we want Carolina to lose. The worst thing that happens is the panthers win and Philly gets eliminated. Philly is in trouble with McNabb hurt, but they have a fine defense and a good coach. It would me mighty huge for us if the panthers lose and they very well might.

7-4 Seattle at 7-4 Denver - I am kind of shocked Denver is starting Cutler while they are 7-4. We want Cultler to play well. The saints have a great chance to get a bye and a home playoff game. There is no reason for us not to pull for Denver.

5-6 San Francisco at 7-4 New Orleans - As always the most impt game each week is the one we play. SF is a much improved team with perhaps the best running back in the NFC. I think we will win, but remain amazed at how many people on here think we win easy. Its a must game for SF who can get right back in it with a win. It would also give them the tiebreak and put them one game behind us with the saints having tough road games ahead. If the saints win this game I think they are 90% in the playoffs. If they lose its a 50/50 bet that probably goes down the the last game.
 
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tdbush25

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Thanks St. Dude! I look foward to the Know Who To Pull For each week
 

kfran

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Great Job, st. dude... Only one disagreement: There is no Jessica/Romo romance connection. It was all started by a Dallas Magazine Blogger.
 

Danneaux

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I'd rather Dallas drop the Giants, which would make it very difficult for the Giants to catch us, even if they beat us. Another Giant loss and they are done for.

But I'm still simply hoping for a playoff spot. If I had more confidence I'd probably want the Giants to win, making home field and a BYE week in our grasp.

I guess I'm still too chicken to go from just wanting to make the playoffs to getting a home game or two..
 

Redlands Saints

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st dude, again a great post. I wait each week to see your picks and then use them for my pool. if I ever win the thing I'll send you your half.
 

workhorse

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I am seeing this weeks game against SF more and more like a must win, and a tough game at that. St Dude, you are right. If we lose, we definitely fall to the pack with SF then owning a tie breaker for a wild card spot. that coupled with a Carolina win, means we would lose the division. Scary.

Although many on the board this week seems to be looking to Dallas next week, I don't think Payton will allow it. I think we will beat SF, but it will be a fight. Regardless, we can't turn the ball over.
 

joe87

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I kind of rather the Giants win this one because it seems like a more winnable game for us, with the way Eli is playing.
 

blackadder

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Several years ago the NFL refined its plan to bring parity to the league. Looking at the NFC where no one team really stands out, some might call it mediocrity. Personally I think other leagues have a lot to learn from the NFL where the playing field stays so level any team, any year, has a chance to turn it around.

The draft is set up to give losing teams first shot at the talent. The salary cap keeps one team from buying all the talent(like the yankees do). The scheduling system gives weaker teams easier schedules. Free agency is set up so you get compensated if you lose more players than you get. Its a very clever system the NFL devised.

Like it or not, it works. We are in week 13 and 11 out of 16 teams remain in the hunt. And the best teams are susceptible to upset by the 5 teams out of the hunt. I dont think anyone here would be surprised if the bears were to lose to the packers. Twenty years ago a bottom team would have been 3 touchdown underdogs to the 49ers, nowadays 7 points is a big spread.

The saints are in great shape. If the beat the 49ers my guess is a win over Dallas or NY would be enough to get a wild card. Whichever of these teams the saints beat would likely be 9-7 with the saints and lose a tiebreak. If the saints beat two more games, one of them being carolina, they could win the division at 9-7. 10-6 probably will win the south. A 10-6 saints team might even get a bye in the playoffs.

The playoff contending teams look like this:

Bears 9-2
Saints 7-4
Cowboys 7-4
Seattle 7-4
Panthers 6-5
Giants 6-5
Philly 5-6
Falcons 5-6
Rams 5-6
SF 5-6
Vikings 5-6

2-9 Arizona at 5-6 St. Louis - You know, most forum saints fans see us as so much better than the 5-6 teams and do not worry about them. I think its a mistake to count out these teams. One of the five bottom feeders is going to climb back in the wildcard race. The saints have one of the tougher schedules going in. If we lose this week we fall back into the pack. So it helps every time a team gets eliminated. The rams will probably win, but we dont want them to.

5-6 Atlanta at 4-7 Washington - Yes, we played well against the falcons but the ball did bounce our way. I thought Vick had a whale of a game. Take away the hail mary we got and the touchdown catch White dropped which Dan in laf could have scored on and we might have lost. Funny, its usually us saying but for this play here or there we would have won. I am not counting the birds out but pretty much will if they lose this week. For some reason I bet they beat the skins, but we are pulling for the skins for sure.

5-6 Minnesota at 9-2 Chicago - You know, most know who to pull for games are no brainers, this one is not. If we win the division at, say 11-5, we could maybe be tied with the bears and get home field advantage. On the other hand, if we fall back and the Vikings win, they could be the 5-6 team that gets a wild card. I am going to be conservative on this and pull for the bears to eliminate the vikes, but its a game open to discussion. One thing for sure, the bears are beatable. Would Chicago kill for a Drew Brees at qb?

7-4 Dallas at 6-5 N.Y. Giants - Well, here is the big game to watch for many reasons. If the Giants win its even money that one of these teams makes the playoffs as the division champ and one as a wild card. If NY loses, Dallas becomes a heavy favorite to win the division and the Giants are in trouble. Add to the drama that we have to play both these teams on the road, games we will likely be underdogs in. If we lose both games we lose the tiebreaker with potential wildcard teams. I say pull for Dallas and put the giants in wildcard jeopardy. If I wasnt a saints fan though, I would be pulling for the giants to make that division even more interesting and to see. I predict the giants win and Romo struggles. If Romo gets replaced or hurt down the road, I predict Jessica Simpson drops him the same week.

6-5 Carolina at 5-6 Philadelphia - This is a great game for saints fans. Naturally we want Carolina to lose. The worst thing that happens is the panthers win and Philly gets eliminated. Philly is in trouble with McNabb hurt, but they have a fine defense and a good coach. It would me mighty huge for us if the panthers lose and they very well might.

7-4 Seattle at 7-4 Denver - I am kind of shocked Denver is starting Cutler while they are 7-4. We want Cultler to play well. The saints have a great chance to get a bye and a home playoff game. There is no reason for us not to pull for Denver.

5-6 San Francisco at 7-4 New Orleans - As always the most impt game each week is the one we play. SF is a much improved team with perhaps the best running back in the NFC. I think we will win, but remain amazed at how many people on here think we win easy. Its a must game for SF who can get right back in it with a win. It would also give them the tiebreak and put them one game behind us with the saints having tough road games ahead. If the saints win this game I think they are 90% in the playoffs. If they lose its a 50/50 bet that probably goes down the the last game.
I agree with you. This could be another tough one.

SF is running the ball well, while we have given up a ton of yards on the ground lately. Potentially it is not a good matchup for us. If they can run on us and keep the chains moving they can control to ball and keep up off the field.

If we go back to being careless with the ball that complicates matters further.

This could easily be a tight one.

Hope we can get up on them and force them to get away from what they want to do on offense.
 
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champ76

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I am seeing this weeks game against SF more and more like a must win, and a tough game at that. St Dude, you are right. If we lose, we definitely fall to the pack with SF then owning a tie breaker for a wild card spot. that coupled with a Carolina win, means we would lose the division. Scary.
The San Fran game is huge: home game, conference game, winnable game. All which puts added pressure on the Saints. We have a history with the 49'ers which ought to fire up the fans Sunday. They ruined our season for so many years, now's our turn. I trust the coaches to come up with a way to contain Gore and score on the niner's defense. Just protect the ball and it should be ours.
 

kfran

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I agree with you. This could be another tough one.

SF is running the ball well, while we have given up a ton of yards on the ground lately. Potentially it is not a good matchup for us. If they can run on us and keep the chains moving they can control to ball and keep up off the field.

If we go back to being careless with the ball that complicates matters further.

This could easily be a tight one.

Hope we can get upon them and force them to get away from what they want to do on offense.
You can bet that is exactly what they plan to do, blackladder. They know they're best chance of beating us is to use their O as a part of their D (TOP), and limit our offensive series... And quite frankly, that's what any well coached team would try to do against us right now.

I see three ways to counter this. The first and most obvious, is...

1.) Eliminate offensive turnovers.

2.) Jump on them early, get up by 2 TDs or more, make Gore less of a run factor (he has alot of receptions, as well), and make them pass. That is not their strenght.

3.) While the quick strikes will gives us that cushion lead, get back to long sustained drives, where the clock and the crowd will become even stronger allies for us.
 

BullDawg

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As to the Vikings-Bears matchup, I have to say we would want the Vikings to win. The Bears won't lose many more. The Vikings will. If we do get a homefield, great. I just hope it's homefiled throughout. No one in their right mind wants to play the Bears at Soldier Field in January.
 
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As to the Vikings-Bears matchup, I have to say we would want the Vikings to win. The Bears won't lose many more. The Vikings will. If we do get a homefield, great. I just hope it's homefiled throughout. No one in their right mind wants to play the Bears at Soldier Field in January.
This one I had to think about and grabbed a glance at the schedule:

Bears - Rams, TB, Detroit, GB: Unless they totally collapse, they should run the table on those 4. So if they end up 13-3, we can't catch 'em. So it wouldn't matter.

But if you think we're gonna run the table and believe that the Bears will lose to the Vikes and one other team, then you have to pull for the Vikes.. .(cause then both are 12-4, and we win tie-breaker on NFC wins.)
 

bclemms

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The Bears Vikings game will be a good one. Vikings are down to must win games and I think they have a lot better chance than most are giving them. They should have beat the Bears the first go round when the Bears are who we thought they were but since they have started playing like the Bears Dennis Green thought they were the vikings stand a chance. Something that most don't realize is the Bears defense can be run on and the Vikings oline and Chester Taylor have been getting a little better each week. The bad news is Steve Hutchinson is listed as questionable. I am rooting for the Vikings hard because even if the Bears don't lose any more games if the Vikings make it in to the playoffs then they are a team we would match up very well against. They are dominating against the run but can't stop the pass when the field is spread.
 

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Focusing solely on the division, i'm actually hoping the Giants beat the Cowboys and give us a little margin for error on getting the first-round bye. Wouldn't mind Minnesota getting eliminated though, simply because I doubt we'll catch up to Chicago anyways.
 
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I agree with you. This could be another tough one.

SF is running the ball well, while we have given up a ton of yards on the ground lately. Potentially it is not a good matchup for us. If they can run on us and keep the chains moving they can control to ball and keep up off the field.

If we go back to being careless with the ball that complicates matters further.

This could easily be a tight one.

Hope we can get up on them and force them to get away from what they want to do on offense.
Agreed. Thank you, Bladder
 

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