Playoff poll: Do you prefer Falcons play Saints or Packers?

Drew Brees

Drew Brees is back in the Georgia Dome tonight.

Aaron Rodgers.

Aaron Rodgers was here in November.

While the Falcons have done a good job this season not looking beyond the next game — in this case, tonight’s meeting with the New Orleans Saints at the Georgia Dome — it doesn’t have to stop us from looking ahead, does it?

So here’s the question: Which team would you rather see the Falcons play in their first playoff game: The Saints for the third time or the Green Bay Packers for the second? Because it’s likely to be one of those two.

Who would you rather see Falcons play?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

The Falcons will lock up the NFC’s top seed with a win either tonight or next week against Carolina. Pending the outcome of Philadelphia’s postponed home game against Minnesota, which has been rescheduled for Tuesday night, this is how the standings in the NFC lay out right now:

♦ 1. Falcons (12-2): Bye.

♦ 2. Philadelphia (10-4) or Chicago (11-4): Bye.

♦ 3. Chicago or Philadelphia.

♦ 4. St. Louis (7-8).

♦ 5. New Orleans (10-4).

♦ 6. Green Bay/N.Y. Giants/Tampa Bay (9-6). (Green Bay controls its own destiny. It’s in the playoffs if it defeats visiting Chicago next week, or if New York and Tampa Bay both lose.)

Let’s assume for now that the Eagles — who have home games remaining against the Vikings and Dallas — win the No. 2 seed and the bye. In that scenario, the Packers (or Giants or Buccaneers) travel to Chicago in the first round and New Orleans travels to St. Louis. If the Saints and Bears win, the top four seeds in the next round would be: Falcons-Eagles-Bears-Saints. New Orleans would return to the Georgia Dome for the NFC semifinal.

If the Packers (or Giants or Bucs) defeat Chicago, and the Saints win at St. Louis, the seeding becomes: Falcons-Eagles-Saints-Packers. In that scenario, the Falcons play Green Bay and New Orleans travels to Philadelphia.

The best case scenario for the Falcons is that the Nos. 3 (Chicago or Philadelphia) and 4 (St. Louis) seeds win. (The Rams get a No. 4 seed despite its current 7-8 record for winning the NFC West). If that happens, The Rams come to Atlanta. But most aren’t expecting that.

So assuming its the Saints or Packers, which opponent would you rather see? The Falcons are 1-0 against each, defeating the Saints 27-24 in overtime in September, and the Packers 20-17 Nov. 28.

Earlier posts

Falcons get a chance to clinch division and quiet critics

Atlanta can suddenly hit pro sports utopia

LogoGrass_652173aEnter the “Sack Schultz” bowl contest and win an iPad! The bowls have started but don’t worry. Early games count only one point each and there’s like 12,000 bowls. Click here for more info or go to ajc.com/go/sack-schultz to enter.

Follow me on Twitter @JeffSchultzAJC; friend me at Facebook.com/JeffSchultzAJC

246 comments Add your comment

Nomi

December 27th, 2010
12:58 pm

First!! Ill take the Saints…Packers with a healthy Aaron Rodgers are scary

George

December 27th, 2010
1:00 pm

I think it would be tempting fate to expect to win 3 times against the Saints. Bring on the packers!

D A Double U G

December 27th, 2010
1:01 pm

Schultz,

Are you or Bradley going to start the **LIVE from Shreveport” blog in the next couple hours??

That blog is going to be a doozy!!!!!!!!

D A Double U G

December 27th, 2010
1:02 pm

oh,

and I would rather play the Saints. I love the challenge alone of being able to knock out your hated foe, or be knocked out by your most hated foe. It’s those type games REAL Sports Fans LIVE for.

Go Birds

Bravissimo

December 27th, 2010
1:03 pm

Ill tell ya after I see the game tonite ;)

TruthSeeker

December 27th, 2010
1:05 pm

I don’t want to face either of those teams, but if I had to pick which one I’d rather say, I’d go with the Packers. Rodgers and Brees rate about the same on the fear factor scale, but the Packers don’t have a consistent running game.

I’m pulling like hell for the Rams or Seahawks to pull a shocker.

Jeff Schultz

December 27th, 2010
1:06 pm

D A Double U G — Alas, no live blog from Tech. Sorry to disappoint.

Who Dat Nation

December 27th, 2010
1:06 pm

The Nation will be at the Dome tonight, Go Saints!!!

dean

December 27th, 2010
1:07 pm

Ed

December 27th, 2010
1:10 pm

Doesn’t really matter to me the Falcons have already beaten both the Packers and Saints this season. I liked the Falcons were able to run the ball consistently against both teams, either way I would like the situation the Falcons would be in at that point.

mmgtfan

December 27th, 2010
1:13 pm

Neither. RAMS!!!!!

juice sourcer

December 27th, 2010
1:21 pm

Both will be even money…50/50 who wins.

Reeves

December 27th, 2010
1:23 pm

Can we play the Vikings? Heck, anybody we get will be tough at this point. And, let me add, it’s no advantage that we beat both of these teams earlier. Alot of times, that’s a disadvantage. It does help that we will be home team, but neither will be an easy game.

Chris Murphy, Atlanta, GA

December 27th, 2010
1:26 pm

I agree with George.

Reeves

December 27th, 2010
1:27 pm

Since the Falcons have the best record, and the Rams the worst, won’t the Falcons play the Rams, assuming the final standings are the same?

D A Double U G

December 27th, 2010
1:28 pm

Sometimes I do wish I were a Saints fan……

I can only fream of being able to pretend to be French (geaux?), use HORRIFIC gramar and misspellings (who dat?) and continue to try and get sympathy from the League for a thundershower that hit my city 5+ years ago.

I hope Drew Brees breaks something, and I am not talking about his fans hearts.

Tommy

December 27th, 2010
1:32 pm

It doesn’t matter, we may end up seeing both of them anyway. The playoffs are going to be a slog. To win the whole thing we are going to have to go through some combination of Green Bay, Philly, Chicago and New Orleans, and then either New England, Pittsburgh or Baltimore in the Super Bowl.

And after we get through that and win the title, the first words out of Trent Dilfer’s mouth will be ‘no way they repeat.’

Ted M

December 27th, 2010
1:32 pm

It could also be Seattle if they beat the Rams, then the Saints. I’ll take them. I’d rather play the Packers then the Saints for a 3rd time though.

Ted M

December 27th, 2010
1:34 pm

Jeff,

If we rap up home field tonight, don’t you think the starters should play at least the first half next week?

Smoothie

December 27th, 2010
1:35 pm

Packers have a better D and better corners, not to mention some guy named Aaron Rodgers. While Brees can hurt us even worse, I don’t think NOLA’s defense can stop us at this point. We’d have a better chance of controlling clock against the ‘Aints at this point in my opinion. Even on their longer drives, NOLA doesn’t seem to use a lot of clock which leaves plenty of time for Matty Ice to do his thing at the end.

mark

December 27th, 2010
1:37 pm

Either one does not mattter, to get to the super bowl we are going to have to beat two good teams. Saints are good but their defense is weak aginst the run and very bad on the road see Balitmore and Bengals. Packers play good offense, but are one diminsional and Aaron Rogers came in here 4 weeks ago after lighting other teams up and only scored 17. Bottom line bring anyone on, there is no fear in this team, they think they can beat anyone and as a fan I feel the same way. Hey TO you are a Hall of Famer, but you and Moss will never win the big game, b/c of your attitude. Glad we did not pick you up in the off season. Roddy my man up be he is no diva!

Steve

December 27th, 2010
1:40 pm

I believe there are bigger things to focus on today instead of the little bees 5:00 game in Shreveport. I bet they have 10,000 in the stadium and the ratings are an all time low. I am sure Jeff and Mark are very happy they were not sent to cover that game. Go Falcons!

PHIL

December 27th, 2010
1:43 pm

If we win tonite I’d rather play the Packers. If we lose I’d rather play the Saints. Hard to beat a good team 3 times, or even twice. I think the Saints are a more balanced team, better running game and better defense.

Falcons Fan1

December 27th, 2010
1:45 pm

Jeff, I know they dont announce it until the playoffs start but any guesses as to what time slot on the 15th/16th that divisional round game would be, assuming Atlanta gets the #1 seed? Is it predetermined or does the NFL look at matchups?

Keep in mind the Bears hold the tiebreaker over the Eagles also (head to head)

D A Double U G

December 27th, 2010
1:48 pm

The Bears defense hasn’t sold me yet. To give up 34, or whatever they did to Mark Sanchez yesterday…. I would LOVE to play them in the Dome.

sp

December 27th, 2010
1:51 pm

D A Double U G — I second, 3rd, 4th, 5th, what you say..to hell with the Saints, and their fans, GO FALCONS!

SOUTH GA DAWG FAN

December 27th, 2010
1:51 pm

I just hope they battle on the field and not on the pages of twitter. Its been a great season and the birds need to focus on the field and not get the big head .

Andy

December 27th, 2010
1:54 pm

Jeff,

This is of minor importance, because the NFC West champ will be steamrolled by the 5 seed, but Seattle wins the division with a week 17 win.

But realistically, you could run a Find and Replace in your article from St. Louis or Rams to “whipping post”.

HowBoudDemBirds

December 27th, 2010
1:58 pm

I’ll take the Packers anyday. It would be overwhelming if we knocked the Saints out the playoffs, but it would be traumatizing if the opposite happened.

I LOVE Vick, but I hope the Eagles get knocked out early so that we won’t have to face them. How ironic would that be. Vick for the first time as a starting QB… only to knock out his old team.

5150 P.O.A.D.

December 27th, 2010
2:00 pm

DA double UG
You are a dawg fan and that is close to being a saints fan. Both teams have 1 championship in their history. NOLA was the Toilet Katrina flushed, while Sanford is the Cesspool of the South. Remember the sewer pipes busted and flooded the field with POO. AHHAHAH. The UGA SAINTS! That has a ring to it as long as Richt is still in charge.

Vick Supporter

December 27th, 2010
2:03 pm

Poor Falcons…still trying to get fans to follow the team….LOL

Herschel Talker

December 27th, 2010
2:05 pm

Schultzie:

Packers. When are you going to start calling out Mark Richt for stuff like Caleb King flunking?

HT

JSS

December 27th, 2010
2:06 pm

@ Jeff Schultz…
You got more out this subject than leftover Thanksgiving turkey… Throw the bird in the trashcan!

joe

December 27th, 2010
2:08 pm

I’m French, my family lost 2 homes in that Category 5 rain shower and I pull for the Saints. It was tough pulling for them for most of those bad 40 years, so yes we are enjoying this run. I certainly don’t want to see Matt Ryan get hurt, that would be classless for me to say.

ATLFalcons4Eva

December 27th, 2010
2:10 pm

I’d rather us play the Saints – ESPECIALLY if we lose tonight. Nothing taste as sweet as the Falcons beating the World Super Bowl “Fluke” Champions when it matters MOST and putting them OUT of the playoffs. That will shut them up (and the national media naysayers i.e. D!ckhead Dilfer).

Followed that victory over the Saints with a victory over the Eagles and Mike Vick would be Fantastic! Nothing sweater than shutting up the crap from Matt “Chock” Ryan butthole and other Vick supporters and Falcons haters. Getting to the Superbowl (win or lose) will be an after thought. Just beating both Saints and Eagles would we oh so sweet.

cheshire

December 27th, 2010
2:11 pm

Tough call, but i’d rather face the Saints. Drew Brees is almost guaranteed to throw a couple of interceptions and their defense isn’t as good as the Packers.

The Falcons like to play control the clock and keep the opposing offense off the field with long sustained drives… it’s much easier to do that against the Saints defense than the Packers defense. Saints are terrible at stopping the run and the Packers have the #1 rated defense in the league in terms of points allowed per game.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Wm Cole Smith, franklincalhounwhite. franklincalhounwhite said: RT @JeffSchultzAJC: Playoff poll: Do you prefer Falcons play Saints or Packers? http://bit.ly/etlfkJ [...]

Who Dat Crap????

December 27th, 2010
2:12 pm

Who stated that Who Dat crap???? That has got to be the most annoying saying in all of sports. Also, I cannot not respect Saints fans, they didn’t even have enough respect to give Brett Farve the game ball in last years NFC Championship game (What a FLUKE SB Win)

cheshire

December 27th, 2010
2:14 pm

Vick Supporter, it’s kind of hard to care what you say when you’re so devoid of character that they’re willing to support a dog murdering psychopath.

The typical Vick fan has an IQ well below 100, so maybe using big words like “devoid” and “psychopath” wasn’t a good idea there.

doob

December 27th, 2010
2:15 pm

I’d rather it not be the Aints. Actually, the Iggles might not be a bad thing. Ron Mexico has yet to visit the Dome with a packed house rooting AGAINST him. It might bring him down a notch or two…

kimmer

December 27th, 2010
2:16 pm

“I can only fream of being able to pretend to be French (geaux?), use HORRIFIC gramar and misspellings (who dat?) and continue to try and get sympathy from the League for a thundershower that hit my city 5+ years ago.

I hope Drew Brees breaks something, and I am not talking about his fans hearts.”

Wow DA what a wonderful example of class you must be to your falcon fanbase. While you’re being the human spell-check on how saints fans spell ‘that’ in their cheer you might want to check on how to spell ‘dream’ yourself. Oh and for my two-cents, I do hope Ryan has a terrible game but comes out healthy. Its just a game after all.

JSS

December 27th, 2010
2:16 pm

@ Jeff Schultz…
Please, can you need to remind your bloggers how the wild card round work in terms of seeding?

Oh, the Bears chances to get the home field and bye in the Divisional round will disappear at around 6:30 to 7:15PM ET on January 2nd…

D A Double U G

December 27th, 2010
2:17 pm

POAD,

That “Saint”, Mark Richt, is 9-1 against your team.

Now go talk college football on the other blogs. This is about the Falcons.

Don’t your yellowjackets play in a couple hours?? on…. wait for it….wait for it…. December 27th??

Devildog

December 27th, 2010
2:18 pm

Don’t really care, but I saw a Saints fan and his son in WalMart today and almost went up and shook their hands because I KNOW, unlike the rabble that’s still here from Katrina, most of the Saints fans at the game will go BACK to New Orleans. Wish they’d take a refuge back with them.

cheshire

December 27th, 2010
2:19 pm

Are there actually UGA/GT fans arguing on this blog? LOL… i’m a GT fan and graduate, but i’ve long sinced realized both of these teams suck. Why is anyone still investing any energy in either one of them?

Saints Fan

December 27th, 2010
2:19 pm

Hello, My name is (__*__) and I am a Saints Fan :-)

Who Dat Nation

December 27th, 2010
2:21 pm

WHO DAT?? Them Saints is that, the pigeons are going down tonight

papa rider

December 27th, 2010
2:24 pm

Joe,

Why did you even mention Matt Ryan getting hurt?

Ole Smoky

December 27th, 2010
2:26 pm

Just know I’ll be pulling for the Rams… But we wind up facing Who Dats for a 3rd game…

BuzzBelle

December 27th, 2010
2:26 pm

I want the Bills! :)