The Three Potential Opponents: Volume Two

Fantasy Playoffs start this week with a chance to win a guest column this offseason.  For Rules & Regulations, check here.  You'll be able to select your players starting Friday morning

If the weekend goes as I think it'll go, the Green Bay Packers will beat the Eagles in Philadelphia.  That would bring our old buddies to town.
#5 Seed
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
Why?
  1. January 21, 2007.  In an NFC Championship game the entire world expected the Saints to win (most people used the word "easily"), the Saints were thoroughly dominated at Soldier Field.  They relied on a fluke Reggie Bush wheel route to make the game seem more competitive than it was.
  2. December 30, 2007.  A year later with the Saints still believing they had a chance for the postseason at Soldier Field, Devin Hester returned a third-quarter punt to put the Saints season into a deep freeze.
  3. December 11, 2008.  On a Thursday night with myself in attendance, Danieal Manning returned the opening kick for a touchdown and the Bears held off the Saints in overtime for their third consecutive win against the Saints at Soldier Field.  In all three of these games, the Saints lacked their in-dome (or warm weather) explosiveness and struggled to contain our return games.  The Saints still have some of the weakest special teams in the conference.  
  4. I think the trick to beating the Bears, at Soldier Field, in January, is running the ball efficiently.  You don't need to run it for 200 yards.  You just need to run the ball from first-to-fourth quarter and be able to keep our linebackers from sliding back confidently into their zone coverages or committing to full-out blitzes.  Right now the Saints are one of the five worst running teams in the league.  
  5. Drew Brees.  I don't think enough people know the kind of season Drew Brees is in the midst of, having seen his passer rating drop ten points as his interception totals has risen to 22 on the year.  Brees has been making some odd mistakes, sometimes channeling the late Brett Favre, and has not displayed the reliability or consistency that ushered the Saints to their first championship a year ago.
Why Not?
  1. Drew Brees.  He is 4-2 in his playoff career.  But his numbers in the postseason are downright astounding.  150-225 (66.67% completion), 1,648 yards, 13 touchdowns and 2 interceptions.  I'm not big on projections but if you project Brees' playoff stats over a season he'd have 4,394 yards, 34 touchdowns and 5 interceptions.
  2. Marques Colston, Robert Meachem and Lance Moore are physical receivers who can beat the Bears secondary the way receivers need to: settle into the space under the safety and catch the football.  The three receivers combined for 2,424 yards.  Impressive.  
  3. Alex Brown and Sedrick Ellis.  I have not respected many modern Chicago Bears as much as I respect AB and I can see him making a big play after plowing Frank Omiyale three inches into the turf.  Ellis is one of the best young nose tackles in the game and if they slide him into the gap between Kreutz and Chris Williams, Jay better throw the ball quickly.
  4. They play the Seattle Seahawks this weekend.  While I foresee the Eagles and Packers unloading on each other for four quarters, there is reason to believe the Saints will be able to mail-in their second half in Seattle and not take the kind of physical beaten you want your Divisional opponent to suffer in the Wild Card round.
  5. They're the Super Bowl champs.

Comments

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  • First to say New Orleans will make a nice appetizer.

  • In reply to mottystone:

    just another new bear in town, oh oh, oh oh, just another new bear in town...

  • In reply to hollywood1:

    http://i56.tinypic.com/fa4u1i.jpg

  • In reply to gpldan:

    keep running like that and you'll get black & blue eye sockets

  • In reply to mottystone:

    And bad special teams means the Saints are getting dominated in an oft overlooked, but all important THIRD phase of the game.

  • In reply to mottystone:

    Not to mention the ability of our FORTH phase to disrpupt the Saint Offense.

  • In reply to mottystone:

    I'd do fifth, but I'm scared I'll get flagged for excessive celebration. Instead I'll just salute you all... oh wait.

  • In reply to mottystone:

    This is getting silly, so this will be the last time I do this (maybe). Viva, this one's for you: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/don_banks/01/05/nfl-playoff-power-rankings/index.html

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    MB.. every time I see that dicks picture reminds me of niedermeyer:

    http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=animal%20house%20niedermeyer&search=Search&sa=X&oi=spell&resnum=0&spell=1

  • In reply to nicholsra:

    shit wrong link....son of #$!#$#!$#$!#%%$#!%$$#^%!^$!$#

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qdFLPn30dvQ

  • In reply to nicholsra:

    Yep, Lovie Smith 3-0 against the "genius" Sean Payton.

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    Green Bay will indeed do to The Eagles what The Dog Killer did to his family pet. Then we will move on.

    I haven't watched much Saints football this season, but think we stand a helluva chance against them. If we were going to lose to any of the teams on deck, I would be least saddened if it were to The Saints. If it were Philly, I may just lose my mind.

    Bring that Brees to the shores of Lake Michigan where the wind and cold will send him back to New Orleans looking forward to next season, whenever that may be.

  • In reply to sjvl:

    Why would anyone root for the packers over the eagles? I don't understand. Personally, Green Bay-Chicago is everything....and they are the only team in the NFL more decorated than ours. Every season that we surpass them, we get closer and closer, and every season they last longer, they get further and futher ahead. I dunno, I guess the rivalry isn't everything, but for me it's the most important subplot every season.

  • In reply to brocklanders:

    Depends how you look at decoration. In the Super Bowl era, a team in Pittsburgh might call us both amateurs.

  • In reply to JeffHughes:

    Well, of course; people like to pick and choose their sample size......but if you take the time frame that's most flattering for the Bears (since the beginning of professional football).......the Packers are the only team that has us beat. A team like chicago is all about the old school, and I think the fanbase's pride reflects and reveals that. Accordingly, I think Bears fans embrace the 20's - 60's as much, if not more so than the superbowl era. And there is only one team that bests us since the "Chicago Bears" existed, and it happens to be our rival.

  • In reply to brocklanders:

    but have they really bested us? we own a 91-83-6 lead all-time. and we've outscored them 3,060 - 2,948. (regular season)

    postseason, surely you remember the 33-14 drubbing we handed out back in the magical winter of '41.

  • In reply to evantonio:

    The Bears and Packers have always been in the same division. So what were the circumstances that led to them meeting in the playoffs in 1941, given that there were no wildcards at the time?

    Alan L.
    Edgerton, Wisconsin

    The Bears and Packers finished the 1941 season tied atop the NFL

  • In reply to nicholsra:

    btw...from the DaSite

  • In reply to nicholsra:

    yeah, NFC north (x2), NFC south, AFC west, Seahawks, and Falcons

  • In reply to evantonio:

    Yeah, we have the regular season head-to-head, but they have more championships, and more superbowls. They have to be considered the greatest franchise since 1920.

  • In reply to JeffHughes:

    Rooting for GB?? Well, there is this..
    We could play them at Soldier Field for the NFC Championship. I do not think there would be anything better I could wish for (football-wise)than to see the Bears beat them to go to the Super Bowl. That would be the highest rated (non-Super Bowl) game ever. To win a game like that and hear the Packer fans cry for years aobut all their injuries etc woudl be priceless.

  • In reply to BillW:

    What if we lost that game? Getting beat at home by their wildcard injury riddled team to win the conference championship would be the ultimate punking.

  • In reply to brocklanders:

    Aren't you a fucking ray of sunshine today?

  • In reply to gpldan:

    Rooting-for-the-packers needs to be examined

  • In reply to brocklanders:

    Life's big moments are more fun than the average ones. At least to me.

    A Bears-Pack NFC Championship would be great. But then again, I usually go all-in early in the Hold 'Em tourneys to spook the table.

  • In reply to gpldan:

    First-in-ness rocks GPL. It's a smart strategy-even if someone sees you ... it's any-two-will-do-ness. You know what I think whenever I've played real-life/non-online poker and see those two bullets in the hole? Fuck. You just know some calling station is going to blow you out of the tournament with his 8-6 off suit.

  • In reply to brocklanders:

    I'm not rooting FOR the Packers, but I just can't say that I want the Eagles to win. It's saying like I want cancer.

  • In reply to sjvl:

    .500 chance of the Pack winning statistically.

    .333 chance of you getting cancer.

    So there's quite a bit more chance of the Pack winning than you getting cancer. Do we feel better now Sarah Jane Victoria Lynn?

  • In reply to gpldan:

    ...indeed.

  • In reply to brocklanders:

    Yes, it would.

  • In reply to BillW:

    and if we would have beat them last week?....

  • In reply to nicholsra:

    It would have been a cleveland steamer on their season courtesy of the bears

  • In reply to brocklanders:

    yep. this conversation about the fudgers would not take place

  • In reply to brocklanders:

    oopps...for the Saints:

    http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d81d7b535/article/saints-lose-rb-thomas-for-season-sign-bell-away-from-eagles?module=HP_headlines

  • In reply to brocklanders:

    I think the only way I would ever root for the Packers is if the Bears needed them to win to get in the playoffs. Even then, I would have to suppress my gag reflex.

  • In reply to Ufficio:

    For me, the whole game is a big gag. If there were some way for them both to be eliminated simultaneously, I would go for that.

  • In reply to brocklanders:

    I dont think it matters who the Bears face.. they are a team of destiny and will go all the way this year. And I'm with most of you.. I will never root for the Fudge!!

  • In reply to brocklanders:

    Re; The Saints receivers I belive Marques Colston just recently had his knee "scoped".

  • In reply to brocklanders:

    very close to agreeing with you on this one.

  • In reply to brocklanders:

    wrigley, I won't retell my tale of being a Bears fan at the Linc, nor all the daily bullshit I hear from Eagles fans here in Pennsylvania (I am a displaced Chicagoan).

    I do not want the Cheese to win and agree with you on almost everything you said. Within our division, the rivalry IS everything and I hate Green Bay.

    But I loathe everything Philadelphia.

    My hope for Sunday: Packers win, but Eagles give Mr. Rodgers his 3rd and season-ending head butt. Win-win all the way around.

  • In reply to sjvl:

    I get that.....but do you think philly will come in and beat the bears if they beat the pack? I dunno, maybe. If you think the Bears win that game, then I'd be all about it.

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    What would your power rankings look like?

  • In reply to brocklanders:

    When's Blago hitting the slammer?

  • In reply to brocklanders:

    New England
    Atlanta
    Baltimore
    Pit
    Chicago
    Saints
    Pack
    Indy
    Philly
    etc...

    I was tempted to put Indy above the pack to be honest.

    What about you Wrig?

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    If I'm trying to rank teams in order of how strong I think they are, on a neutral field, without taking into consideration they're probability of making it to the super bowl (not ranking teams higher if they have a bye, or home field advantage........

    NE
    PITT
    BAL
    ATL
    GB
    NO
    PHI
    CHI
    NYJ
    INDY
    KC
    SEA

  • In reply to brocklanders:

    If I'm ranking probability of postseason success.....

    NE
    ATL
    PITT
    NO-GB-CHI
    PHI
    BAL
    INDY
    NYJ
    KC-SEA

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    What gets me is why these guys just don't go ahead and rank the at the Bottom of the totem pole? You know they want to. Oh I guess that would make it too obvious.

  • In reply to ImissButkus:

    trac...ain't that the truth!

  • In reply to ImissButkus:

    Losers.

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    I am thinking that we may be giving the Cheese too much credit. My upset special this week will be Eagles taking the pack in a close one. They lost 5 games on the road this year and I wouldn't be surprised if they stumble in Philly. That would bring the Eagles to Chicago and send the Saints to Atlanta I think.

  • In reply to ImissButkus:

    Although one might not gather it by reading this blog, that's not an upset special as the Eagles are favored by 3.

  • In reply to Ufficio:

    The only "upsets" I see this week would be wins by Seattle or Kansas City. The other two games could go either way (though that doesn't neccesarily mean a close score).

  • In reply to ImissButkus:

    I'm so sick and tired of the Fudgers....if we would of slammed the door on them I think our rankings would be better..notice we are behind the fudgers AGAIN!!!

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/561941-super-bowl-predictions-odds-each-nfl-playoff-team-reaches-dallas/page/8

  • In reply to ImissButkus:

    A STATEMENT GAME WTF????????? the barley won...from B/R:

    With a statement win against the Bears this past week, the Packers have shown they want to be in the playoffs, and that they can still win games.

  • In reply to ImissButkus:

    One More Why: The rushing game for the Saints recently got worse when their surprise player of the year Chris Ivory was put on IR this week. Pierre Thomas has been a disappointment this year and we all know Bush is only a 10 carry per game guy.

  • In reply to ImissButkus:

    This Blog has game....reading all the talking heads and pundits it seems like the Bloggers on this site are always on top of it..just read this..it's what we have been screaming about since pre-season...

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/560800-chicago-bears-exposed-by-the-packers-will-they-adapt-for-january

    p.s. I will say it again and piss everyone off for the new year..

    "WHERE THE F@##@!$$ck ARE MY TWO GUARDS"? screw it how about a new O-line.

  • In reply to nicholsra:

    The basic premise of that post is incorrect though. Jay hasn't been any worse from behind. He was down 11 to the Jets and delivered his finest performance of the season.

  • In reply to JeffHughes:

    blogfader...I agree it is skewed, but the ideal I came out with is if we had a line..well Cutty would not have run for his life this season, and believe double deuce/chester cheetah would have even better #'s

  • In reply to nicholsra:

    Amen.

  • In reply to nicholsra:

    And, of course, it contains no explanation or even a mention of the fact that the Bears have already defeated The Pack & Eagles this year.

  • In reply to Albertintucson:

    Al..are you surprised?

  • In reply to ImissButkus:

    Wow, I like the way the last thread panned out. Constitutional tax law debate. Way to go Bears fans, I'm proud of you, no Fudger site has that I'll wager. I added in some research for a book I wrote which I found pretty mind-blowing (the findings, not the book) and I've mentioned the Fed before, but you have to plant seeds ...

  • In reply to IrishBearsFan:

    Irish -

    I have concluded that you are, in fact, Bill Still.

  • In reply to gpldan:

    Irish is Christian Okoye, who is better than Jim Brown.

  • In reply to MASOCHR:

    There is a Nigerian on the internet who says he has a sum of 5 million dollars bequeathed to me by a dead royal. All I have to do is wire him $2000 for the transfer fee into my bank account.

    My lucky day!

  • In reply to gpldan:

    ANOTHER Packer troll?

  • In reply to gpldan:

    Fucken Nigerians... dodgy bunch.

  • In reply to gpldan:

    I think Al's right smells of cheese frumunda!

  • In reply to gpldan:

    I love those emails....Ever heard of scambaiting? Some of these stories are just hilarious

    http://thescambaiter.com/

  • In reply to gpldan:

    He's bound to be genuine GPL, go for it. Cash in the life insurance, give him the kids college funds too.

  • In reply to MASOCHR:

    Didn't say better Coach, just faster.

  • In reply to gpldan:

    Fight the power.

  • In reply to ImissButkus:

    Don't the Saints come here? Atlanta and the Saints in the same division, right? So I think two teams in the same division would be the championship game. No?

  • In reply to iamndmurff:

    No, it's based on seeds alone. Two teams from the same division can theoretically face each other in any round of the playoffs (except the Superbowl, of course). If the Eagles win, they come to Chicago regardless of what happens in the other game.

  • In reply to ImissButkus:

    Yeah, the eagles are definitely favored (by 2.5 on the site I bet with). But as poor as the Packers were on the road, the eagles were only 4-4 at home.

  • In reply to mottystone:

    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/01/05/williams-wall-expected-to-break-up/

    This is interesting, and could be a good move for us if we can't addres the DT position in the draft. Its a short term fix, but if he can play, he's worth picking up.

  • In reply to mottystone:

    not a chance. Lovie doesn't like the big guys in the middle who just take up space. His defense requires smaller guys who can slip through the gaps.

    When Lovie came to town his first order of business was getting rid of Keith Traylor. Then in the draft he passed on Vince Wilfork and went after Tommie Harris

  • The New Orleans Saints will come to Soldier Field and win SECOND place.

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