Saints manage to "win" on their bye week

Dennis Allen, New Orleans Saints
Dennis Allen, New Orleans Saints / Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Saints were off in week 11 thanks to their bye week, yet despite that the Saints still managed to come out as winners despite not playing.

While the New Orleans Saints took the week off from regular season gridiron action to (hopefully) regroup and get back to the swing of things, the two teams in the division that WERE playing, the Carolina Panthers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, did the Saints a couple favors and helped us all consider the bye week a "win". Hey you have to take them where vou can get them right?

In regards to the Panthers, they're cooked, and have been for some time, so they were never really a threat. However, considering that they suffered another loss to fall 1-9 on the season, coupled with the fact that the Chicago Bears own their first-round pick, and that makes things just all the more delicious for Saints fans.

Onto more serious matters though, the Buccaneers also had a game, and they came up short against the San Francisco 49ers. With that loss, they fall to 4-6, thus giving the 5-5 Saints sole possession of first place in the, shall we say "gauntlet" that is the NFC South. Granted we didn't specify how dangerous the gauntlet is.

That is even all the more huge considering that the Bucs owned the tiebreaker on the Saints, so had they somehow came out of the Bay Area with a win, we'd be singing a song of a much different tune as it pertains to the Saints standing in the NFC South.

This isn't even getting into the fact that the extra week gave the banged up Saints a chance to get healthy with quarterback Derek Carr being the prime example.

With all this being the case, the Saints now control their own destiny, and it makes their same this week with the4-6 Atlanta Falcons, the other team that didn't play this weekend, all the more huge. It means that the game is for first place in the division. The ball is in court of the New Orleans Saints, thanks to some help, but now it's on them. Let's see what they do with it.

You can win today yourself with Bet365's brand new $365 sign-up bonus! New users who bet $1 or more (with a $10 deposit) on Saints vs. Falcons today will receive $365 in bonus bets win or lose. Celebrate the launch of a new sportsbook in Louisiana - sign up for Bet365 now!