The New Orleans Saints head back on the road this week as they look to pick up their first road victory of the season after starting 0-4 away from the Superdome. Standing in their way are the tentative NFC South division leaders, the Carolina Panthers. As dominant as the Saints looked on Sunday Night, remember, those were the primetime Superdome Saints, the road Saints are a different story. What needs to remain the same though is the emphasis on a strong running game and the defense taking advantage of all opportunities given to them.
Outside of Dallas, the Saints haven't been dominated on the road this season and they most certainly can win, even on the dreaded short week. Remember, it's a short week for the Panthers as well. Both teams know what's on the line, and given their history, it should make for an exciting game. Let's now take a look at this pivotal matchup as well as the rest of the games on the Week 9 schedule.
Last week I went 11-4
I told you so: Saints over Packers!
Thursday, October 30th
Saints(3-4) at Panthers(3-4-1)
The gameplan has to be simple for New Orleans, give the ball to Mark Ingram and attack the NFL's fifth worst rushing defense, then take your shots with the play action pass to exploit the secondary. Don't expect Sunday Night's Saints to show up in this game, but the fundamentals presented in that game need to be present in this one. Saints win 24-21.
Sunday, November 2nd - Early Games
Tampa boasts the NFL's worst offense and defense. Cleveland's defense will dominate this game.
No defense, not even the Saints, gives up more passing yards per game than Arizona. They also have the second fewest sacks in the NFL. This will be very beneficial to Tony Romo and the Dallas passing attack at home.
After a nail-biting loss in Week 8, Philly bounces back with a win on the road in Houston.
The Jets' miserable season continues to get worse in Kansas City.
The Jags won't survive in this jungle. Cincy gets the win at home.
Chargers(5-3) at Dolphins(4-4)
San Diego should stop their two game skid in this interesting contrast of styles matchup in Miami.
This could be a surprisingly high scoring game, but Washington will get more out of their passing game in the end.
Sunday, November 2nd - Late Games
Fresh from the afterglow of winning their third World Series in five years, the San Francisco Bay Area will be in full-on celebration mode as the Niners will handle St. Louis.
Broncos(6-1) at Patriots(6-2) - Game of the Week
It's Peyton Manning vs Tom Brady once again, expect another classic. The fact that this game is at Gillette Stadium will make the difference in the end.
Remember when Oakland beat Seattle in the preseason finale? That was novel, and it was the last time the "Silver and Black" won a football game.
Sunday Night Football
Behind strong defense and a clutch kicking game, Pittsburgh will pick up a surprisingly lopsided home victory over their bitter arch rivals.
Monday, November 3rd - Monday Night Football
Although the Giants should keep it close, Indy will win in a high scoring matchup.
That's how I see Week 9 shaping up. Here's to the first, and most pivotal road win of the season for the Saints! Leave us your picks, comments, and insight below.