Opening the mail: New Orleans edition

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

Still waiting to see whether the NFL suspends Deuce McAllister, Charles Grant and Will Smith for testing positive for a banned substance. But there are plenty of other things to talk about when it comes to the Saints. Here's the New Orleans edition of the mailbag:

Paul in New Orleans writes: Hey Pat, how are you doing? I just wanted to know if you think the saints have a shot at making the playoffs?

Pat Yasinskas: At 5-5, the Saints obviously are a bit of a long shot and they seem to have a lot working against them (injuries, possible suspensions, etc.). However, they have found a way to keep themselves at .500 and that's at least good enough to keep them in the race. I've been saying all year that you can't count the Saints out, as tempting as it's been at times, because they still have a ton of talent. They face an uphill battle, but Drew Brees is enough to keep New Orleans in any game and getting Reggie Bush back from an injury could provide a big spark.

Adam in New Orleans writes: Pat, if you disregard the season up to now, do you think that the Saints have what it takes to win out the season and make at a run at the division or a wild card spot? Also, I would like to know your pick for the Monday night game between my the saints and the packers.

Pat Yasinskas: That's a very unique and interesting way you phrased your first question and I like it. I'm sure there's a fair amount of the first 10 games the Saints would like to erase. But, following your logic, I'm going to say the Saints still have a chance. As I said above, Brees is a huge positive. But let's just imagine the final six weeks go the opposite of the first 10 -- Bush comes back, Marques Colston and Jeremy Shockey get back to doing what they can do and, maybe, the possible suspensions somehow don't happen. That would leave the Saints with an offense that's loaded and a defense that, umm, is pretty shaky. There's talent in some places, but the Saints would have to catch just about every break to run the table or anything close to that. As for a prediction on Monday night, I'll leave that up to our guys on the television side who make predictions. I picked the Seahawks and Colts to be in the Super Bowl, so I'm probably not the guy you want to hit up for predictions.