The Saints are different team within the walls of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
The New Orleans Saints are looking for some home cooking against the Carolina Panthers this weekend. Monday night, the Saints were handled on the road by the Seattle Seahawks 34-7 in front of a national audience.
It’s eight straight wins for the Carolina Panthers — who have pulled into a fist place tie with the Saints at 9-3. Things have become interesting in the NFC South as the two teams will meet twice in three weeks.
Will the Mercedes-Benz Superdome be the cure for the Saints or will the Panthers become the top cats in the NFC South?
Thursday December 5, 2013
Jacksonville Jaguars 27, Houston Texans 20 – The woes of the 2013 Houston Texans plummeted to an all time low, costing head coach Gary Kubiak his job. Chad Henne passed for two touchdown passes as the Jacksonville Jaguars defeated the Houston Texans 27-20 to sweep the season series. The victory was Jacksonville’s third in a row while the Texans have dropped 11 straight. Kubiak — who was 61-64 (2-2 playoffs) in seven-plus seasons was replaced by defensive coordinator Wade Phillips.
Sunday December 8, 2013. Games beginning at 1:00 pm:
Indianapolis Colts (8-4) at Cincinnati Bengals (8-4) - Both teams will more than likely win their divisions despite disappointing second halves. Is it possible the Colts are facing a defense more generous than their own? Adam Vinatieri’s heavy leg will be the difference.
Colts 27 – Bengals 24
Cleveland Browns (4-8) at New England Patriots (9-3) – New England escaped disaster last week against the Texans. Lost in the shootout was is the potency of the Patriots offense after struggling early. Can Aquib Talib handle the red-hot Josh Gordon on his own?
Patriots 37 – Browns 17
Oakland Raiders (4-7) at NY Jets (5-7) - I haven’t heard anything to the contrary about Geno Smith starting this week. It would be wise for the Jets to take advantage of the Raiders run defense which gave up over 100 yards against the Cowboys. Oakland’s injury list is too heavy to keep the bottom from falling out.
Jets 23 – Raiders 18
Kansas City Chiefs (9-3) at DC (3-9) – The Chiefs haven’t won a game in over a month and no one is talking about it after a 9-0 start. Andy Reid’s gang coughed up the AFC West and home field throughout the playoffs in a matter of weeks. DC is done for the season and we can probably say the same for the Shanahans
Chiefs 28 – DC 23
Minnesota Vikings (3-9) at Baltimore Ravens (6-6) – The Ravens have climbed back into the playoff picture with the final seed, but Detroit, New England and Cincinnati remain on the schedule. The Vikings have thrown salt on the playoff hopes of Green Bay and Chicago. Look for Adrian Peterson tote the rock at least 25 times.
Ravens 31 – Vikings 23
Atlanta Falcons (3-9) at Green Bay Packers (5-6-1) – The Falcons offense showed signs of life with a healthy Roddy White and Steven Jackson. The Packers are going to be without Aaron Rodgers again this week. I’m beginning to believe he’s chalked this season up.
Falcons 27 – Packers 20
Buffalo Bills (4-8) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-9) - With C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson back in the lineup, we should see a more relaxed E.J. Manuel in the pocket. After three weeks of inspired football, the Bucs were trounced by the Panthers last week.
Bills 27 – Bucs 21
Miami Dolphins (6-6) at Pittsburgh Steelers (5-7) – Mike Wallace returns to Pittsburgh just as he is beginning to warm up. The Dolphins are on the outside looking in. Pittsburgh is just trying to get a peek into the window. A win by the Steelers will really shake things up.
Steelers 23 – Dolphins 20 (Overtime)
Detroit Lions (7-5) at Philadelphia Eagles (7-5) – A season ago, the Eagles would’ve blown last week’s game against the Cardinals. Birds quarterback Nick Foles has thrown 19 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. I don’t know if the Lions are coming or going, but they scare me this week.
Lions 30 – Eagles 28
Games beginning at 4:05 pm or later:
Tennessee Titans (5-7) at Denver Broncos (10-2) – Peyton Manning’s day may be done midway through the third quarter.
Broncos 40 – Titans 13
St. Louis Rams (5-7) at Arizona Cardinals (7-5) - Carson Palmer’s health has become an issue at the wrong time for the Cardinals — who need a win ASAP. The Rams offense was stifled by a physical Niners pass rush last week.
Cardinals 21 – Rams 17
Seattle Seahawks (11-1) at San Francisco 49ers (8-4) – Winning the division is out of the question, but heading into the playoffs with a late season win over the NFC’s best can go a long way. Seattle is no New Orleans, they know how to win on the road. Time to get the Russell Wilson for MVP train cranked up.
Niners 27 – Seahawks 23
NY Giants (5-7) at San Diego Chargers (5-7) - The tables have turned for both teams in recent weeks. The Chargers have hopes for the postseason, while the Giants need a 34th Street Miracle.
Chargers 29 – Giants 21
Carolina Panthers (9-3) at New Orleans Saints (9-3) - I had the Panthers losing this game until around 9:30 pm Monday night. The Saints took a beating against the Seahawks and now face the NFLs’ top defense in the Panthers. Cam Newton has been stellar in prime time, accounting for five touchdowns and no turnovers.
Panthers 30 – Saints 20
Monday Night Football:
Dallas Cowboys (7-5) at Chicago Bears (6-6) - The Bears have been flip-flopping in recent weeks, but Josh McCown has shown he can still sling it. Brandon Marshall and others have responded in kind to their current signal caller. The Cowboys can’t risk trailing by double-digits to the Bears on the road. Snow would be nice.
Bears 27 – Cowboys 24
Last Week: 10-6
2013 Season: 99-70-1