Chat hits on Rams-49ers parallels

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Thanks to those who dropped by the weekly chat, which just ended. I'll single out a couple highlights here, courtesy of Chris from Brooklyn and Jeff rom Toms River, N.J.

Chris (Brooklyn): Hey Sando- The bye may be great on the players, but it's tough on the fans! I'm very eager for the Cards Panthers game this week. I'd love to see a midseason prediction from you on the NFC playoffs. I'd love to see your picks, and projections for who'll win and make their way to the superbowl. Like I said a couple of weeks ago, I have this Cards Panthers game circled as critical for the potential of an NFC bye in the playoffs. The winner will hold the tie-breaker, and I just don't see an NFC North team getting 11 wins. Thoughts?

Mike Sando: NFL Network just showed highlights of Steve Smith getting deep against the Saints. For some reason I had visions of Brett Favre throwing six TD passes against the Cards in Week 4. Not sure what to expect from Arizona in this game. I think it's important to remember that teams lose road games. We shouldn't make rash judgments about the Cardinals if they lose this game. The outcome is more significant for Arizona if the Cardinals win. As for the playoffs, I do think ARizona will get to 10 victories and host a playoff game, barring injuries.

Jeff (Toms River NJ): Mike. Do you think Singletary can have as much or better success than Haslett has had with the Rams? Singletary should be able to motivate his players right?

Mike Sando: I thought the situations were a little different. Nolan never lost the players the way Linehan lost them in St. Louis. Haslett was able to turn to Marc Bulger, a former Pro Bowl quarterback with lots of experience. The 49ers aren't as bad as the Rams when these teams made the changes. For that reason, I don't expect such a dramatic turnaround in San Francisco.

I'm part of the EPSN.com chat rotation every Thurday at noon ET. In keeping with a common line of discussion around here, lots of people are probably wondering about the adjustments a West Coast guy faces when chatting in the Eastern time zone. They might wonder if I hold practice chats at 9 a.m. PT in the days before the real thing, or if I travel to the East Coast a few days before each chat, just to get my fingers acclimated.

My record in 9 a.m. PT chats seems to be pretty good so far, so no changes are planned. But thanks for not asking.