The New Orleans Saints had four wins when they entered their Week 14 BYE and they were coming off an embarrassing loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers where they coughed up a 16-3 lead in under seven minutes.
That's why it sounded ridiculous when second-year linebacker Pete Werner confidently said ahead of Week 15's matchup against the Falcons that he truly believed this team would close out the season on a 4-0 run. That'd put them at 8-9 and could potentially give them home-field advantage in the Wild Card round against whoever ends up as the No. 5 seed in the NFC playoffs.
Well, two games have passed since Werner made this statement and the Saints are 2-0 in those games. They narrowly defeated the Falcons in Week 15 and then held off the Browns on Christmas Eve to move to 6-9 on the year.
Pete Werner said the Saints would go 4-0
New Orleans closes out the season against the Eagles and the Panthers, two teams who have playoff aspirations too, but very different ones.
A big part of why fans rolled their eyes at Werner's statement two weeks ago was that the Eagles were the opponent in Week 17. The Eagles have lost two games all season and are so good because of how stacked their roster is. They're fighting for the No. 1 seed in the NFC and that's why it'd be hard to imagine them losing to the Saints.
Well, with Jalen Hurts' injury, it could make a win in Week 17 less crazy. Gardner Minshew played well in Hurts' absence this week but he's not Hurts.
Carolina is still in the running to win the NFC South too and they control their own destiny. If they win out, the division and a home playoff game in January is theirs for the taking. If the Panthers are in a position where all they have to do is win and they're in when Week 18 rolls around, it's hard to see them laying a stinker against the Saints but crazier things have happened.
I don't think the Saints end up going 4-0 but Pete Werner certainly looks more sane after the team won two of the first four games remaining on the schedule.