The long and agonizing bye week is finally over. The New Orleans Saints return to action in the Motor City as they visit the Detroit Lions. The Saints need to take this opportunity coming out of the bye week to look at this as a season renewed. The NFC South is atrocious and despite being 2-3, the Saints are just a game out of first place. Now is the time for this team to take advantage of the poor play in this division and hit the reset button on the 2014 season. Let's now take a look at all of the matchups in Week 8.
Last week I went 7-8 (I count the tie as a loss)
Thursday, October 16th
New England will cruise to victory over the passing inept Jets.
Sunday, October 19th - Early Games
Joe Flacco and the Baltimore offense will have little trouble at home against the Atlanta defense.
Titans(2-4) at Redskins(1-5)
Despite being 1-5, Washington is just flat better than Tennessee, and they'll pick up the home win here.
Seattle will rebound from their surprising loss last week, but St. Louis will keep it interesting.
Browns(3-2) at Jaguars(0-5)
Jacksonville missed their best shot at victory last week. This week Cleveland will run the ball down their throats.
Bengals(3-1-1) at Colts(4-2)
Indy's passing attack will overwhelm the disappointing Cincy defense.
Minnesota will rely heavily on their defense, but it won't be enough to win in Buffalo.
Miami, fresh off their crushing loss last week, will face another loss here in Chicago.
The Lambeau Field advantage will be enough for Green Bay to pick up the victory at home.
Saints(2-3) at Lions(4-2)
New Orleans has won five consecutive post-bye week games under Payton/Brees, and they look to extend that streak this week in Motown. The potential loss (or at least weakened state) of Calvin Johnson will be a crucial blow to the Detroit offense, so too will be the loss of Jimmy Graham to the Saints offense. Although most will be expecting a shootout form these two, much like their 2011 games, that's mostly based on name value. I think this will be a much lower scoring game than previous matchups.
For all of the anticipation of seeing Drew Brees and Matthew Stafford, with their 5,000 yard resumes, this game will come down to current Saints Mark Ingram, Pierre Thomas, and Khiry Robinson against former Saints Reggie Bush, Joique Bell, and Jed Collins. Running the ball and stopping the run will be paramount to the winner of this game. I get the feeling that will be the Saints, 24-21.
Sunday, October 19th - Late Games
Kansas City just won't be able to hang with their AFC West rivals here.
Arizona's 4-1 start may be a mirage, but a win over Oakland is very little for most teams to accomplish this season.
This is an easy one, right? Dallas is white hot, while the Giants are fresh off being torched in primetime. Well, the NFL tends to course correct in divisional matchups like these. Plus, Eli Manning owns AT&T Stadium, in fact, he put his name on it before they did. Giants get the upset win.
Sunday Night Football
Rumors of San Francisco's demise have been greatly exaggerated, but Denver will get a big win at home in this intriguing matchup.
Monday, October 20th - Monday Night Football
Texans(3-3) at Steelers(3-3)
Pittsburgh has had a perplexing season so far, but they pick up the home win in primetime here.
That's how I see Week 7 shaping up, and it'll be good to see the Saints back on the field! Leave us your picks, comments, and insight below.