Third Quarter: 3-1
The schedule doesn’t lighten up here at all. The Saints go on the road to Cincinnati. It’s still early in November, but the weather does start to get dicey in Cincy. The Bengals have been on a negative slide recently, and this season won’t be easier with an improved Browns team and an improved Ravens team in their division. Saints take this one.
The Black and Gold have the honor of hosting the defending champion Philadelphia Eagles on November 18. This game could have the earmarks of an NFC Championship game preview. The Eagles defense looks solid again. Offensively the question will be which QB the Saints will see – will Carson Wentz be healthy enough by this time of the season to have taken the reins? At home, likely the featured game nationally, I think the Saints make a statement and win.
It’s been a while since the Saints have a Thursday night home game. They host the Falcons on Thanksgiving night following the Eagles game. Normally, I’d give the Saints every advantage here – the Falcons, at home, night game.
We’ve done well in these feature games against the Falcons, however we are 2-2 against the Falcons on Thursday Nights. And we are only .500 on Thursday nights overall. This game, while it should be a Saints win, bears watching closely. The Falcons will come off a home game against Dallas, who they’ve beaten three consecutive meetings.
Normally after a Thursday night game, a team has 10 days before their next game, kind of a mini-bye. Not so for our black and gold. They will come back the following Thursday, for a regular Thursday night game against the same Cowboys the Falcons faced. It’s in Dallas, so there is an advantage there, but the Saints have beaten Dallas nine of the last 11 times we’ve played.
Fate will have it that the Saints will lose one of these last three games. They are better than two of these teams to be certain, and wins should come. But we play three games in 11 days, against the defending champions, a playoff team, and a team that finished one game out of the playoffs last season. It’s a tough stretch and a loss may come.