Oct 26, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton watches during warmups prior to kickoff against the Green Bay Packers at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports
The New Orleans Saints have a wonderful opportunity to seize control of the NFC South on Thursday Night Football against the Carolina Panthers.
However, we can’t ignore the elephant in the room. The Saints are currently riding a seven game regular season road game skid. They have to hope their fortune can change, but will be tough, as Thursday nights have not been kind to the team.
Since Thursday Night Football started in 2006, the Saints have played four times on NFL Network, and it wasn’t until last season that the team earned their first victory, defeating the Atlanta Falcons 17-13. Before that? It wasn’t so pretty. Here’s the breakdown of the matchups for the black and gold:
12/11/2008, A- Chicago Bears 27, New Orleans Saints 24 (F/OT)
12/19/2009, H – Dallas Cowboys 24, New Orleans Saints 17 (Saturday, but still TNF)
11/29/2011, A – Atlanta Falcons 23, New Orleans Saints 13
11/21/2013, A – New Orleans Saints 17, Atlanta Falcons 13
The team has played three other games on Thursday Night under Sean Payton, but it was under NBC as the NFL’s Opening Kickoff Game. They’re 1-2 in those contests, losing the 2007 game to the Indianapolis Colts 41-10, winning the 2010 game at home against the Minnesota Vikings 14-9, and losing the 2011 game on the road to the Green Bay Packers 42-34.
Drew Brees is only 3-4 on Thursday action in his career, and has 9 touchdowns to 10 interceptions in those games. The only addition to the previously mentioned games would be the 30-27 Thanksgiving victory over the Cowboys in 2010. When you put it all together, we’re still not so hot on the road, especially on Thursday.
Playing on a short week is difficult for any team, and for these two, it will be sure to exhibit a hard-hitting, hard fought contest. The Saints could not only improve their overall record to 4-4, but they can even up the score on Thursdays at 4-4.
We’re all hoping that the momentum from last week’s victory over the Packers continues against the Panthers, and that we can finally put an end to the dreaded road loss streak, at least for several weeks.