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Mid Iowa

Saint's playoff picture - 2018

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So our beloved Saints are atop the Power Rankings, and for good reason, they're clobbering everyone in their path, and I love it!!

As of week 11, with 6 weeks to go, The NFC looks like this:
#1 Saints (Saints win the head to head over the Rams if the W/L column is the same)
Saints have a tough schedule (Falcons, at Cowboys, at Buccs, at Panthers, Steelers, Panthers). Ending 2 games at home will be nice.
#2 Rams (Still looking strong with a suspect defense allowing a ton of points)
Rams have a week 12 bye, and then an interesting, not brutal, schedule with an easy ending (at Lions, at Bears, Eagles, at Cardinals, 49ers).
#3 Bears (A scary good defense, and an offense that is finding it's path in a crumbling division that they'll win)
On a 4 game winning streak with a rough schedule ahead with 4 out of 5 on the road (at Lions, at Giants, Rams, Packers, at 49ers, at Vikings)
#4 Skins - the only contested division (Won't hold their #4 spot. The Cowboys are going to climb into this spot and take the division)
Down their starting QB, this would-be contender is now out, and facing a tough road. They'll be lucky to take 3 of these (at Cowboys, at Eagles, Giants, at Jaguars, at Titans, Eagles)
#5 Panthers (Playing good, usually, until their not, and then they do again, and then they don't, so who knows)
This schedule is HUGE for the #5 spot (Seahawks, at Buccs, at Browns, Saints, Falcons, at Saints). 
#6 Vikings (Vikings are struggling (wrong word?), and this spot will likely become the Seahawks spot)
Like the Panthers, the Vikings look so good, right up until they don't. Likely the toughest schedule ahead (Packers, at Patriots, at Seahawks, Dolphins, at Lions, Bears).
Contenders
#7 Seahawks (can never count these guys out, and 4 of their 5 losses are to playoff contending teams (Rams x2 (in close matches), Chargers, Bears)
They beat the teams they should, and have half & half difficult schedule (Packers, at Panthers, 49ers, Vikings, at 49ers, Chiefs) including 4 home games. They go 4-2 in this stretch, and will challenge the Panthers for the #5 seed.
#8 Cowboys (another Jekyll & Hyde team who may be figuring it out. They've got playmakers, they just need to string together more wins)
Likely the most favorable schedule of the 8 teams listed (Skins, Saints, Eagles, at Colts, Buccs, at Giants) and finish the season with 4 home games (the next 3 included)).
I say the Cowboys are going to pop the Skins out of the playoffs and take the #4 seed, and at least well in the hunt for #6.

I don't think any team squeezes the Panther out of the playoffs at this point.

Heading down the backstretch of this season, we all know the hard work is far from over, and here's my interpretation of how things need to go.

A) The Saints need, need, need to secure home-field advantage/#1 seed.
At this point, the Rams look like a lock for #2, but we can't turn a blind eye to what's happening in Chicago. The Bears are quietly climbing the rankings, and are sitting strongly at the #3 seed, and improving. The Rams defense has been exposed.
B) The Saints really need either the Vikings or Seahawks in that #6 spot, and either the Skins or Cowboys at the #4. Any of these 4 teams can't match the Saints play for the divisional game.
C) Vikings, Seahawks, or Panthers taking on the Cowboys (or Skins) at #4 would be a good, hard fought game, while the Saints are relaxing with the bye week). I'd pick the Saints to beat any of these teams in the dome, but would rather not see the Panthers again. 
D) We neeeeed the Rams and the Bears to have a knock-down, drag out with each other so their worn out going into the NFC Championship game. 

Wild Card
#3 Bears over #6 Seahawks
#5 Panthers over #4 Cowboys

Divisional
#1 Saints over #5 Panthers
#3 Bears over #2 Rams

NFC Championship
#1 Saints over anyone, especially the #3 Bears

Superbowl
#1 Saints over the.........            Patriot? Chiefs? Steelers?  

WhoDat!!

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45 minutes ago, Mid Iowa said:

#1 Saints (Saints win the head to head over the Rams if the W/L column is the same)
Saints have a tough schedule (Falcons, at Cowboys, at Buccs, at Panthers, Steelers, Panthers). Ending 2 games at home will be nice.
#2 Rams (Still looking strong with a suspect defense allowing a ton of points)
Rams have a week 12 bye, and then an interesting, not brutal, schedule with an easy ending (at Lions, at Bears, Eagles, at Cardinals, 49ers).

Gotta reverse this. We're #2 at present as the Rams have 10 wins to our 9. We cannot look past Atlanta. Little brother is always a problem, even in our house.

So it's:
1. Rams
2. Saints 
3. Bears
4. Wash
5. Car
6. Minny

In all honesty, given their remaining schedule vs ours, the top 2 spots are likely to remain as they are. That said, we can beat them at their place too. We're good enough this year. 

WHODAT!

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2 minutes ago, nolaexpat said:

Gotta reverse this. We're #2 at present as the Rams have 10 wins to our 9. We cannot look past Atlanta. Little brother is always a problem, even in our house.

I get that, and I appreciate it. That's why I said we have the head to head, essentially.

So, regardless of the computer, we ARE the #1 seed! B|

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NFL.com lists us as #2 which is why I drew it that way. I think we have to win tomorrow to be #1 again. If the season ended today, we'd be #2 according to them. But I could be wrong - I freely admit to being less observant than most. ;) 

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4 minutes ago, nolaexpat said:

NFL.com lists us as #2 which is why I drew it that way. I think we have to win tomorrow to be #1 again. If the season ended today, we'd be #2 according to them. But I could be wrong - I freely admit to being less observant than most. ;) 

It's a bit of a flaw in the system. They always go by the percentage of losses, not wins. Of course, the Rams have played 1 more game (no bye yet), which can't happen at the end of the season. So, if the season ended today, well... it couldn't.

So, yeah, I thought about putting the Saints at #2, but that would have been lying to myself, because we're #1 BABY!!!!!!!!!!!

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On 11/21/2018 at 11:25 AM, nolaexpat said:

NFL.com lists us as #2 which is why I drew it that way. I think we have to win tomorrow to be #1 again. If the season ended today, we'd be #2 according to them. But I could be wrong - I freely admit to being less observant than most. ;) 

It was said, and it was. nolaexpat 19.67

#1 seed, Baby!

Edited by Mid Iowa

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We can lock up the division next week with a win against Dallas and a Panthers loss.

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3 straight losses by Carolina has helped a ton. When they were 1 win back it was a lot more disturbing. Now I'd like to see LAR and CHI lose one or two to give us some breathing room.

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1 hour ago, nolaexpat said:

3 straight losses by Carolina has helped a ton. When they were 1 win back it was a lot more disturbing. Now I'd like to see LAR and CHI lose one or two to give us some breathing room.

The only game LA might lose is @ Chicago.  Bears could drop a few, but I don't see LA finishing any worse than 14-2.  It would've been great if the Chiefs had won that game.

Edited by Jlowe22

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14 hours ago, Jlowe22 said:

The only game LA might lose is @ Chicago.  Bears could drop a few, but I don't see LA finishing any worse than 14-2.  It would've been great if the Chiefs had won that game.

I agree. Of course, we've seen weird stuff from the Loins, but I still don't think they can top the Rams. That said, it'd be amazing if the Rams dropped 2 and lost some momentum at this point of the season.

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15 hours ago, Jlowe22 said:

The only game LA might lose is @ Chicago.

On paper you're right. In practice it only rarely works out that way. LAR have been amazing this year, winning everything they should have won (mostly in lopsided blowouts) and losing so far the only game they should have lost. But it gets harder and harder to win as the year goes on. Lots of things can change for teams down the stretch. Let's hope they fumble a bit and give us even more breathing room. :) 

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37 minutes ago, nolaexpat said:

On paper you're right. In practice it only rarely works out that way. LAR have been amazing this year, winning everything they should have won (mostly in lopsided blowouts) and losing so far the only game they should have lost. But it gets harder and harder to win as the year goes on. Lots of things can change for teams down the stretch. Let's hope they fumble a bit and give us even more breathing room. :) 

That's true, but it's true for us too.  Any given Sunday a random could beat us, but on paper we should be beating everybody.

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Remember 2009 when the Vikings were unbeatable but lost against the Alshon-Marshall led Bears, allowing the Saints to claim home field advantage? The Rams absolutely can be beat...just limit Gurley and Donald. There has to be at least one team in their path that can do that. 

Edited by sammymvpknight

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