The League

Doug Farrar
Writer

Doug Farrar

A FootballOutsiders.com staff writer

Saints, Packers are the toughest seeds

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The Falcons and Eagles, the seemingly prohibitive top seeds just a couple weeks ago, have looked all too mortal of late. Opposing teams are starting to get a game plan together against Michael Vick (hit him a lot, because the refs won't call it), Philly's defense is starting to spring leaks, and that offensive line has been a problem all season. The Falcons, who have been the most fundamentally sound team through the first half of the season, seem to be playing a little too tight of late - almost playing not to lose.

The New Orleans Saints showed what they're up to in that close Monday Night Football win over the Falcons, but the Super Bowl champs have been rounding back in to shape for a while. The defense is playing better, and the healthy return of running backs Pierre Thomas and Reggie Bush opens up the offense for Drew Brees to hit those deep seam routes he throws better than anyone else in the NFL. Brees gave the Falcons more than one opportunity with some ill-conceived throws, but in the end, Atlanta couldn't convert. And if you give Brees a chance to turn it around, he'll eventually eat your lunch.

Interestingly enough, though, the NFC team looking about the best right now might not even find a postseason berth. The Green Bay Packers have been broadsided at times this season by injuries and a tepid running game, but anyone who saw Aaron Rodgers tear up the New York Giants' pass defense for 404 yards and four touchdowns last Sunday surely knows that when Rodgers is on and Green Bay's 3-4 multi-look defense is humming, that's a team you don't want to deal with. If they could just run the ball...

By Doug Farrar  |  December 29, 2010; 10:34 AM ET  | Category:  Doug Farrar , Green Bay Packers , NFC , New Orleans Saints , Playoffs Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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