Spoiler alert! You’re about to notice a familiar theme with #10-7. Road games.
#10 – at Detroit Lions (Week 7, 10/19) ‘Who’s Lion Now?’
How’s this for fun? We’ll play against former players Jed Collins, Isa Abdul-Quddus, and Reggie Bush. We also face former quarterback coach Joe Lombardi. If there’s any truth to the Lions changing their style of offense, we might be looking at a mirror image. This is an exciting matchup, and I’ll automatically look at Calvin Johnson versus Keenan Lewis. This could be a really nice shootout, but in the end, I give the edge to the black and gold.
Prediction: Saints 34, Lions 28
#9 – at Dallas Cowboys (Week 4, 9/28) ‘Jerry-Go-Round’
Historically, the Saints and Cowboys tend to meet later in the season. However, this year we’re looking at an early showdown between the two clubs on Sunday Night Football. The Saints have had tremendous success against the Cowboys, winning eight of the last nine matchups. The Cowboys have last year’s thrashing fresh on their mind, but even so, I’ll take another Rob Ryan revenge game for the win.
Prediction: Saints 31, Cowboys 20
#8 – at Chicago Bears (Week 15, 12/15) ‘Frozen Field’
The Saints were able to finally break a road curse at Solider Field last year by winning in Week 6 of the 2013 season 26-18. Alshon Jeffrey torched the Saints secondary for over 200 yards, but the Saints took advantage of early Bears woes to win the game. Now I know what everyone is going to say about this game: ‘It’s December.’ ‘The Saints can’t win in cold weather.’ I respectfully reply to all of that with a simple, ‘Bite me’. This game could be a huge question mark for the Saints, but the bigger question mark in my eyes is, what type of team do the Bears field this year? Jay Cutler is now ‘the man’ in Chicago, and a sluggish start could have him face a good bit of pressure in the Windy City. I’ll go with this being a highly entertaining matchup (as usual), but I’ll take my Saints again.
Prediction: Saints 23, Bears 17
#7 – at Pittsburgh Steelers (Week 13, 11/30) ‘Roethlisberger and Fries’
The first part of this matchup centers around Lance Moore, whether you want to believe that or not is on you. Moore will face his former team, and it will be weird enough to not see him in black and gold, but rather black and yellow. The second part of this matchup is the track record of outcomes. Each home team has won the past two home meetings (Steelers – 2002, 2010 | Saints 2006, 1993). The Steelers defense has not been the threat like year’s past, and their offense struggles to find answers. I like a curse to be broken, but a close game.
Prediction: Saints 23, Steelers 16
#6 – Cincinnati Bengals (Week 11, 11/16) ‘Bengals On the Bayou’
I know what comes to my mind when I think about this matchup: A.J. Green versus Keenan Lewis. The Bengals are a high-powered offense who have found their groove, appearing in three straight postseason appearances since a dismal 4-12 record in 2010. Granted, the team has not been able to solve for the Wild Card woes, but all-in-all, the Bengals are a team that you simply cannot overlook. This will only be the twelfth time in history that these two teams play each other, and the Bengals have won the past three matchups (2006, 2002, 1996). Call me crazy and biased, but I believe the Saints will break that streak. Besides, it’s a dome game. However, I do expect a very entertaining matchup.
Prediction: Saints 28, Bengals 24