The Atlanta Falcons are sick and tired of hearing about how the Packers are going to waltz into Atlanta and win handily. They'd like to remind you that they're the #1 seed, they won the FIRST time, and they're going to do it again.
So here we are. It’s deep into football season, and I’m so disappointed by how my team is playing that I find myself loath to read any articles on JSOnline. Lucky for me, I have 31 other teams to write about, right?
Three weeks ago, I took a borderline-premature look at the state of the NFC. Around that time, the prognosticators were beginning to set postseason plans, Giants fans were booking hotel rooms in Miami, and it seemed like a race to the bottom between Tampa Bay and St. Louis. So, what’s changed?
Welcome to Opposition Research, where I’ll be taking a look at the next Packers opponent, the thoroughly winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I'll admit that I’m actually looking forward to games against teams with winning records. See, I like to add some snark, and I feel bad picking on teams that lose to the Redskins. But, someone has to do it. Let’s take a look at the team against whom the Packers can take out all their post-Vikings rage.
After 6 weeks, patterns are beginning to form in the NFC about which teams can expect to compete into next year, and which teams will be out of the race before December. Of the two undefeated teams, the Saints have a 99-point advantage over their opponents, and, if they can make it past the Dolphins and Falcons, they’ll have a nice three-game cushion (Carolina, St. Louis, and Tampa Bay) before hosting Tom Brady and his 5-TDs-in-the-2nd-quarter. Sean Payton took $250,000 off his own salary to bring Gregg Williams to New Orleans, and now the Saints defense is scary good (thanks in large part to ex-Packer and – thank goodness – ex-Viking Darren Sharper). I know he’s not his brother, but if you can hold Eli to a 61.0 passer rating and hold the Giants tandem of Jacobs and Bradshaw to 81 yards total, you’re doing something right.
"I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle – victorious."