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Jordan Fiegel

"WWL First News" Producer & Sports Writer
Weekdays 6am-10am

Twitter: @jgfiegel
Email: jordan@wwl.com
Posts from December 2013


Saints Playoff Scenarios
Alright, Saints fans. With the Black and Gold's loss to Carolina on Sunday, the playoff picture has gotten a bit murky.  New Orleans can go as high as the #2 seed or as low as the #6 seed, and there are a bunch of scenarios. 

First off, if the Saints win, they're in the playoffs.  For the following scenarios, let's assume this happens.  To get the #2 seed, a bye, and a home playoff game, Saints fans must root for Atlanta. If the Falcons upset Carolina in the Georgia Dome, say hello to the #2 seed, Who Dats.  That's, obviously, the best case scenario.  Things get a little more confusing, however, if the Panthers beat (or tie) the Dirty Birds.

If Carolina wins, they'll get the coveted #2 seed; and the Saints will be relegated to one of the two Wildcard spots and have to play, on the road, against either the NFC North champion or the NFC East champion.  And, of course, both of those divisions have yet to be decided.

Okay, we're still assuming the Saints beat the Bucs.  And let's assume (just to explain things) that Carolina wins.  The next game we need to look at is the San Francisco 49ers at the Arizona Cardinals.  If the 49ers win, they'll finish 12-5 and lock up the #5 seed.  Unless Seattle loses at home to St. Louis, which opens up another can of worms. San Francisco would then win the NFC West and jump up to the #2 seed. Carolina, meanwhile, would grab the #1 seed due to owning the tiebreaker over the 49ers.  If the Cardinals beat the 49ers, though, then the Saints would be the #5 seed since they beat Arizona head-to-head.

Now we have to pay attention to the Green Bay Packers at the Chicago Bears (a 3:25 kickoff like the Saints) and the Philadelphia Eagles at the Dallas Cowboys (the 7:30pm Sunday night game).  Both match-ups are win or go home. The winner takes the division title, and the loser is dropped out of playoff contention.

Let's break this down more.  If the Eagles win – and their match-up got a little easier with the news that Cowboys starting quarterback Tony Romo is out for the rest of the season, then they'll be the #3 seed. The #3 seed will host the #6 seed.  If Seattle, Carolina, San Francisco, New Orleans, and Philadelphia all win, then New Orleans will travel to Philly and play the Eagles in the Wildcard Round.  If Dallas pulls out the win with back-up quarterback Kyle Orton, then the NFC North match-up is important.

If the Bears beat the Packers, they will be the #4 seed if Philadelphia wins; but they will be the #3 seed if Dallas wins.  If Chicago gets the #3 seed, then the Saints would possibly return to chilly Soldier Field.  If the Packers win, the best they can do is the #4 seed; and the Saints may have to play on the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field. 

So, to try and recap. 

•    If New Orleans and Atlanta win, the Saints win the NFC South and get the #2 seed and a first round bye. 
•    If New Orleans, Carolina, Seattle, San Francisco, and Philadelphia all win, the Saints will be the #6 seed and will play at Philadelphia in the Wildcard Round.
•    If New Orleans, Carolina, Seattle, Arizona, and Philadelphia win, the Saints will be the #5 seed and will play at the winner of the Chicago vs. Green Bay game.
•    If New Orleans, Carolina, Seattle, San Francisco, Dallas, and Chicago win, the Saints will be the #6 seed and will play at Chicago.
•    If New Orleans, Carolina, Seattle, San Francisco, Dallas, and Green Bay win, the Saints will be the #6 seed and will play at Green Bay.
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Lion Up!
While LSU prepares for their Outback Bowl contest against Iowa on New Year's Day, and Tulane and ULL get ready for the New Orleans Bowl on December 21st; another Louisiana school continues its postseason push. 

The Southeastern Lions won a squeaker on Saturday night against Sam Houston State.  Quarterback Bryan Bennett guided his team down the field, throwing the go-ahead touchdown pass with 36 seconds left. Bennett led the team in passing and rushing yards, racking up 369 total yards and 3 touchdowns.

The Lions are on a tear right now, having won 10 in a row.  This is Southeastern's first appearance in the FCS playoffs, and they'll be in a catfight against a hot New Hampshire Wildcats team that has had three dominating performances in a row. 

In a battle of strengths, the Lions 9th ranked scoring offense will try to find weaknesses in the Wildcats 15th ranked scoring defense.  One such weakness will be the ground game. Southeastern averages 245.8 rushing yards per game (good for 9th in the country) while New Hampshire's run defense ranks just 57th. 

Another plus for Southeastern is that the game will be at Strawberry Stadium.  In 7 home games, the Lions are a perfect 7-0 and have outscored opponents 308-135.  Kickoff is at 6pm this Saturday (December 14th).

 
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