How does 7-4 sound going into December?
Sounds pretty good, huh, especially for a New Orleans Saints team that found its groove in October (3-1) after snoozing through the NFL wake-up call in September (0-3).
Seven-and-four is very doable, provided the Saints come to play against the New York Giants (4-3) today at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and in subsequent weeks against the Tennessee Titans (2-5) at home and the Washington Redskins (3-4) and Houston Texans (2-5) on the road.
All four games are very winnable, according to odds-makers.
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Going 4-0 in November would extend the Saints' current two-game winning streak to six games and set up a monster showdown at home Dec. 6 against the NFC South-leading Carolina Panthers (6-0).
Now that's Fantasy Football!
The flip side of this fantasy is just as real -- 0-4 or 1-3.
Again, it all depends on which Saints team shows up; the good Saints or the bad Saints. And they appear to be interchangeable, depending on which way the wind blows.
I think back to last season at this time when the Saints were 4-4 and leading the NFC South by a half-game over Carolina (3-5-1) after dismantling the Panthers 28-10 at Bank of America Stadium in downtown Charlotte on national television.
That victory snapped a seven-game road losing streak dating to 2013 and marked their first win in their last 10 games away from the Superdome. It piggy-backed an impressive 44-23 victory at home against the Green Bay Packers on national TV only four days earlier.
Everything seemed to be falling in place for the Black and Gold. Like this year's team, the '14 Saints started 1-3 but got its act together in October. After back-to-back wins against the Packers and Panthers on a national stage, the Saints were heading home for a crucial three-game stretch against San Francisco, Cincinnati and Baltimore.
The Saints entered the 49ers game with an 11-game home winning streak, including 8-0 in 2013.
And then the unthinkable happened.
An overtime loss to the 49ers (27-24): BOOM!
A 27-10 loss to the Bengals: KABOOM!
A 34-27 loss to the Ravens: SONIC BOOM!
And the Saints never recovered, finishing 7-9 and missing the playoffs behind the division-winning Panthers at 7-8-1.
So, here the Saints are a year later, standing at the proverbial fork in the road.
At 3-4, the margin for error is slim and one misstep might take them in the wrong direction. On paper, the road lined with the Giants, Titans, Redskins and Texans certainly seems like a path of least resistance.
Getting off on the right foot today would be a good start.
Brian Allee-Walsh, a longtime Saints reporter based in New Orleans, can be reached at email@example.com.