With the Saints not playing on Sunday yesterday, I was watching NFL games with an approach I've never experienced before. In the past I'd mostly watch divisional opponents to get a sense for where things stood in the NFC South. Yesterday, though, I find myself watching Eagles-Giants and Vikings-Packers. The Panthers were playing yesterday, too, and I surprised myself by showing almost no interest in their game. I wasn't watching the other games because of the storyline involved or the players, mind you, but because I was thinking of overall conference seeding. What a different position that is to be sitting from pretty much every other single season of Saints watching. It dawned on me that the Saints are the ONLY REMAINING UNDEFEATED TEAM IN THE NFC, and if they season ended today, THEY'D BE THE TOP SEED IN THE NFC WITH HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE AND A FIRST ROUND PLAYOFF BYE. Think about that for a second, wow.
Granted there is a LOT of football left to be played and the Saints could possibly find a way to implode and miss the playoffs altogether. That scenario seems less and less likely with each passing week, though. Based on the successes in this young season we are aiming for higher goals than ever. The evolution of this season takes a new turn tonight as the Falcons visit the Saints. If the Saints win this game, we'll be in full on conference champs rooting mode, as the Saints will pull 3 full games ahead of Atlanta in the standings and own a tie-breaking advantage. If the Saints lose, though, we'll be back to thinking in terms of just winning the division. We'll be in a dead heat with Atlanta, just one game ahead of them and down in the tie-breaking scenario. This game is by far the most important game thus far in the Saints' young season. Let' s see how they respond. Who dat, and geaux Saints!