The New Orleans Saints have turned a frightfully bleak start into something we might dare to call hopeful this season. They have won two consecutive games, and a third would put the team at .500 for the first time this season. Now the Saints host the New York Giants, who throttled the Saints at MetLife Stadium 52-27 the last time these two faced each other, in the Sean Payton-less 2012 season. In some ways, that performance may have been driven by a need for some revenge after the way the Saints had been manhandling the Giants during their visits to New Orleans, and understandably so.
Some of the things Eli Manning has come to expect when his Giants come to New Orleans are, a little home cooking, a chance to see family and old friends, and a thorough demolition at the hands of the Saints in the Superdome. Some buildings just seem to be bad luck to certain athletes, and the Mercedes-Benz Superdome seems to be that place to the younger Manning. The Saints look to continue to make the Superdome a true house of horrors for Eli this week. Let's take a look at this, and all of the matchups in Week 8.
Last week I went 10-4
I told you so: Saints over Colts!
Thursday, October 29th - Thursday Night Football
Miami has played inspired football under new head coach (and briefly former Saints tight end) Dan Campbell, but Tom Brady will keep New England undefeated here. Pats win 34-21.
Sunday, November 1st - Very Early Game
London continues to get the worst the NFL has to offer, and that continues here. Kansas City's defense will get aggressive with Matthew Stafford and the predictably unbalanced Detroit offense. Chiefs wins 24-16.
Sunday, November 1st - Early Games
Tampa has given little resistance to Atlanta under Lovie Smith, and that trend continues here in this game. Atlanta wins 38-14.
I'm not even sure how this Cardinals team has even lost two games this season. Arizona is that good and they'll win in Cleveland, 31-13.
The two worst overall offenses and passing offenses go head-to-head in this clunker. Neither quarterback should even show up in this one, just direct snaps to the running backs all game long. The Rams' defense is the big difference here. St. Louis wins 3-0.
Chicago will pick up a home upset over Minnesota, thanks to a late game-winning field goal. Bears win 15-13.
Chargers(2-5) at Ravens(1-6)
San Diego will continue to kick Baltimore while they're down, behind surprisingly strong games from their defense and running game. Chargers win 21-13.
Upset Alert! With Ben Roethisberger returning at quarterback for Pittsburgh, the deadly Steeler passing attack that had fallen to the wayside under the Steeler backup QBs, will return as well. Cincinnati's perfect record in 2015 comes to an end in the Steel City, against their bitter AFC North rivals. Steelers stun the Bengals 35-19.
If this awful matchup draws better numbers than any game of the World Series (which it likely will), it is a testament to the dominance of the NFL. Houston wins 38-19.
Giants(4-3) at Saints(3-4)
This game features two of the four lowest ranked defenses in the NFL and they are facing respective former Super Bowl MVP quarterbacks. The big difference here is that the Saints have miraculously found a way to revive a previously nonexistent pass rush from the dead, while the Giants still have not been able to consistently rush the passer this season. Much like last week's opponent in Indy, the Giants feature an equally poor rushing attack and suspect defense.
The X-factor for the Giants comes in the form of another Louisiana native in Odell Beckham Jr. The dynamic wide receiver could be a matchup nightmare for the Saints secondary. Should Delvin Breaux be given the assignment of primary coverage on Beckham, it may prove to be his toughest challenge of the season, and I look forward to seeing how he stands up to the challenge. Beckham will clearly be motivated to play well in front of friends and family in the town where he attended high school.
In the past two meetings between these franchises in the Superdome, the Saints have gone 2-0 and outscored the Giants 97-51. Drew Brees has been absolutely stellar at home against the Giants in his two Superdome starts against Manning's Giants. In these games, Brees has thrown for 732 yards and 8 touchdowns with no interceptions. Drew and the Saints clearly feel at home and at their best when facing the hometown boy, Eli Manning and the Giants in New Orleans. Expect more of the same in this one, as the Saints are really starting to put some pieces together here. Saints win 38-27.
Sunday, November 1st - Late Games
Jets(4-2) at Raiders(3-3)
The Jets will rebound from a tough loss in Foxboro last week, with a win in rainy Oakland this week. Jets win 28-21.
Despite a toothless passing offense, Seattle climbs to .500 against a rudderless Dallas squad. Seattle wins 24-19.
Sunday Night Football
This game kind of has everything. Two undefeated teams, two stout defenses, and two future Hall of Fame quarterbacks, one in his prime and the other at his end. Denver's top-ranked defense against the Aaron Rodgers led offense of Green Bay is quite an intriguing matchup. Although his tank may be near empty, Peyton Manning should bring out his best for this marquee matchup. This was a difficult game to pick, but ultimately I'm going with Green Bay to win in Denver, 27-23.
Monday, November 2nd - Monday Night Football
Colts(3-4) at Panthers(6-0)
Carolina will win their second consecutive primetime home game here. They boast the NFL's top-ranked rushing attack and face the NFL's last ranked defense in Indy. Carolina stays unbeaten and wins 24-13.
That's how I see Week 8 playing out, let's see if the Saints can continue their Superdome dominance over Eli and the Giants. Leave us your picks, comments, and insight below.