A Challenge -- Yes, But not a reach!! The Saints' "Ace in the Hole" is they have only 2 conference losses now. The results of only 3 games (in next 2 weeks) separate the Saints from both the Division title and the Conference #1 seed and the Saints control their destiny in 2 of them.
Assuming the Falcons lose to both the Saints and Panthers (bigger upsets have occurred, particularly after the Black and Gold have turned the Falcons black and blue Monday night) and the Saints beat Tampa, Saints win not only the division title but also the overall #1 seed, no other outside help needed, even if Eagles and Bears win out.
Under this scenario, only 4 NFC teams can finish with 4 overall losses -- Falcons (have 2 now), Eagles (have 4 now), Bears (have 4 now) and Saints (have 4 now). For the conference #1 seed, any combo of teams that have 4 overall losses with the Saints -- tie break advantage Saints as they will have fewer conference losses at 10-2 and no head to head with Bears or Eagles.
First, Saints must beat Falcons and things will get real interesting very fast. Don't assume the Panthers will lose to the Falcons -- it is a division game and most likely John Fox's last game with nothing to lose, Jonathan Stewart running crazy, the Panther defense playing well and the Panthers (under Fox) will never quit. Plus, how do the Falcons respond to the pounding the Saints will put on 'em Monday night???
It's all too perfect!!! The Falcon board and nation is talking about the NFC Championship game against Vick and the Eagles!! One thing we know in sports is it never happens the way people expect!!!!
Make it a great week -- keep hope alive!!!