[BradMeltzerFace] What if I told you that the New Orleans Saints currently have the best defense in the NFC South? What if I told you that all indications so far suggest that the second best overall team in the NFC South might very well be the Carolina Panthers? Would it blow your mind? Of course it would, don't deny it. Now, are you ready for the crazy part? It's all true. See what I did there? I just Decoded that for you. [/BradMeltzerFace]

When somebody tells me in week 6 that Atlanta and Tampa both kinda blow? I want to know why.

So we sent Buddy, Mac and Scott on a 2600-mile cross-country road trip to the Library of Congress so that they could investigate these claims and discover the truth by poring over the stats at NFL.com on Buddy's laptop.

And what they found? Was… shocking.

It's true. Tampa and Atlanta both kinda blow. And they're going down. Hard.

Oh, I know, I know. It's not wise to count your chickens. Gotta stay focused, take them one game at a time, don't look too far ahead, don't be distracted by things you can't control. Fortunately for me, I'm just a fan, and therefore don't control jack shit. So I'm gonna go ahead and indulge in a little chicken counting, thank you very much.

And it seems pretty obvious at this point that the Saints have a shitload more of them than anybody else in the NFC South. Better yet, Mac discovered that they also have the warmest asses in the division. You know, to facilitate the hatching of the aforementioned eggs.

Sure, the Saints have their issues. No question about it. Just like every other team in the league. We could rehash them like they're doing at every other Saints-themed web site on the internet, but that would just bore the shit out of you. Instead, today we're gonna focus on the incompetence of the opponents. Hey, it's as big a factor as any. Am I right, NFC West teams? High five!

Let's start with this weekend's opponent. You know, those dudes who got skulldragged 48-3 by Alex fuckin' Smith(!!!) and the "No, seriously, they're actually legitimately good now! For real this time!" San Francisco 49ers last weekend? The ones who, according to several 49er players, pretty much quit sometime in the second quarter? Yeah, those dudes.

There's been a lot of talk this week about how the Saints could basically put the NFC South in the Camel Clutch this weekend with a win at Tampa. I'm gonna go juuuuust a bit further with that notion and predict that not only will that happen, it's gonna be a good bit easier than last week's game at Carolina. Why? Because, quite simply, all indications are that Carolina is better than Tampa.

I know that Josh.0 is supposed to have us all soiling our pants. After all, he's basically Cam Newton, only better, because he has a couple years of NFL experience under his belt, right?

Well, he's got 3 passing touchdowns to 6 interceptions so far. And his 74.1 passer rating is 29th in the league. That's 14 spots behind Cam. 8 spots behind The Great Matty Ice. Worst in the NFCS. Hell, it's just barely above Blaine Gabbert for crying out loud. He remains on pace for a career high in interceptions, and he's regressed in pretty much every category from last season.

They're 20th in total offense, 20th in passing offense, 16th in rushing offense and 28th in scoring offense. 23rd in total defense, 20th in passing defense, 24th in rushing defense and 22nd in scoring defense. Tampa has the worst offense in the division and they're basically tied with Atlanta for the worst defense in the division.

Or, in other words, they pretty much blow.

"Yeah but Wang, those stats/rankings/etc. are skewed because San Francisco beat them 48-3 last week."

Yeah, but San Francisco beat them 48-3 last week.

Not Green Bay, not New England, not Detroit, not the Saints. San Francisco. 48-3. This just in: 4-1 record notwithstanding, San Francisco kinda blows too. Yeah, still.

Go have a look at Tampa's head-to-head stats. Opponents on the whole are beating them in pretty much every aspect of the game. Not all of 'em, but close enough. This, despite the fact that they haven't played anybody (except Detroit) let alone actually beat anybody. Their wins have come against the 1-4 Vikings by 4, the 0-5 Fightin' Curtis Painters by 7 at home, and the craptastic 2-3 Falcons by 3 at home (more on that later.)

And it's about to get worse. A lot worse. Because they're about to have to play the Saints. Probably without LeGarrette Blount (their entire rushing game) and without Gerald McCoy. Then they have to go to London to play Chicago. Then after the bye, they've got the Saints, Houston and Green Bay all right in a row. Oooooh, that's gotta hurt.

Hope the Bucs enjoyed that 3-1. Because they're gonna have 6 or 7 losses by Thanksgiving.

And then there's The Great Matty Ice and The Great Julio Jones and the 2011 NFC South Offseason Champion Atlanta Falcons.

This just in: they blow too.

A lot.

19th in total offense, 14th in passing offense, 23rd in rushing offense, 21st in scoring offense. 24th in total defense, 28th in passing defense, 24th in scoring defense. They too are getting beaten by their collective opponents in pretty much every aspect of the game.

They're already 2-3, and they're no more than a couple or three plays from being 0-5, for crying out loud. And much like Tampa, they haven't played anybody either (except Green Bay) let alone beat anybody. Their two wins were over Mike Kafka and the 1-4 Dream Team Eagles by 4 at home, and by 2 over Pete Carroll and his two-time defending AP National Champion Seahawks. Guh. Green Bay beat them by 11 at the Georgia Dome, and Chicago beat them by 18!

And at the risk of repeating myself, because it can't be said enough, they're no more than a couple or three plays from being 0-5. That horseshoe they had stuck up their ass last year? Well, it's apparently still there. It's just got a much tougher job this year, because the Falcons blow to a far greater degree than they did last year.

Hey assholes, 2010 was The Year. Way to choke it away.

The Great Matty Ice has a passer rating of 79.9, good for 21st in the league. On pace for a career low. He's looking up at Jay Cutler, Tarvaris Jackson and Donovan McNabb. Oof. He's on pace to absolutely obliterate his previous career high in interceptions, and he's already matched his career high with 3 fumbles lost.

And the skidmarks in Matty Ice's pants are about to get a lot more nasty than they already were. Because, I'm calling it now, Camrolina is about to march into the Georgia Dome this weekend and drop the Falcons into the NFC South basement at 2-4.

Then the Falcons go to Detroit.

Then they get the Saints on Nov 13.

Much like the Bucs, the Falcons are gonna have at least 6 losses by Thanksgiving too. Have fun with all that, assholes.

And as for the Pants? Well, they might very well be the second best team in the division. Unfortunately for them, they've already got 4 losses, including one head-to-head against the Saints. And between now and New Year's Day in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome for the annual glorified forfeit, there's not a whole lot they can do other than hook the Saints up here and there by upsetting various other NFC teams. Geaux Pants! Must suck for you, but it sure doesn't suck for us. High five! Come on Steve Smiff, don't leave me hanging over here!

So you'll just have to forgive me for calling it with 0 precincts reporting. But according to these here exit polls, #wegotthis. In a landslide.

Meantime, the Saints might not (yet) be the best team in the NFC. But here are two things to keep in mind:

1. Detroit and Green Bay still have to play each other twice. So either they both take a loss, or one of the two takes 2 losses.

2. Either way, they're in the same division. So let's just assume the worst and they both go 15-1. One of them gets the 2010 Saints playoff seeding treatment. (That is, unless the Competition Committee goes ahead and changes the seeding rules right in the middle of the game around week 15 or so. What, you're gonna put it past 'em?)

(Yeah, I know, a few days ago I said we wouldn't worry about playoff seeding until waaaaaaay down the road. I changed my mind, sue me. Now that the Saints have run away with the division, the time has come to address these bigger issues.)

And both Detroit and Green Bay have just as many question marks as the Saints do at this point.

Green Bay can't run the ball for shit, and their defense blows. Especially their pass defense.

Detroit can't run the ball for shit either, and their defense is fair to middlin' at best. And you just know it's only a matter of time until Stafford goes down again and we get our annual dose of the Drew Stanton Experience. So, yeah, there's that. Here's hoping that inevitability comes to pass sometime between Thanksgiving and December 1. (Hey, I'm not wishing injury on anybody. I'm just choosing a convenient time for what's surely gonna happen anyway.)

Oh shit, 1500 words. Alright, I'll leave you with this to chew on. Not that I'm anywhere near ready to concede an NFCCG taking place anywhere other than the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, but let's humor the notion for a second:

Aaron Rodgers at Lambeau? Or Calvin Johnson at Ford Field? Think about it before you answer. I'm not sure it's necessarily the no-brainer it might seem to be.

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