The New Orleans Saints come out of the bye week with a new defensive coordinator and a new opportunity to salvage their season. Unfortunately, even with Dennis Allen replacing Rob Ryan, there are a litany of problems with the Saints defense, and it would be foolish to expect drastic improvements. Let's hope the Saints can take the first step forward and at least find a way to stop their march toward becoming a historically bad defense.
Their first opponent from the break is an equally mediocre Houston Texans team that has the benefit of being in the terrible AFC South division. The Texans may be mediocre, but the Saints have lost to two really bad teams in the two weeks before the bye, so the Saints can't take any team for granted at this point. We'll see if despite their own problems, the Saints can take advantage of the ones Houston has as well. Let's take a look at this and all of the NFL action in Week 12.
Last week I went 7-7
Thursday, November 26th - Thanksgiving Day
Early Game - First Course
Many are saying Philadelphia is done and Chip Kelly has lost the team, but don't be surprised if the Eagles pull it together to win this game. The Eagles are still within striking distance in the weak NFC East and this stands as their last "easy" game as the rest of the schedule will be pretty tough. Philly wins 31-26.
Late Game - Main Course
Tony Romo will have a big game against one of the top defenses in the NFL, but Carolina will remain undefeated thanks to a late field goal to win. Carolina wins 27-24.
Primetime Game - Dessert
Bears(4-6) at Packers(7-3)
Chicago is ranked higher than Green Bay in every metric except the one that really counts, wins. Green Bay regained confidence and standing last week, and that continues this week. Green Bay wins 24-19.
Sunday, November 29th - Early Games
Rams(4-6) at Bengals(8-2)
Despite falling into a two-game skid, Cincinnati will get back on track against St. Louis, but nothing will come easy against the Rams defense. Cincy wins 20-12.
After a disappointing home loss last week, Minnesota will rebound with a big road win in Atlanta. Minnesota wins 28-24.
Although Tampa shouldn't expect to have career days from their top offensive stars like last week, they'll still be able to get enough to beat the average Colts. Tampa wins 29-24.
Eli Manning will have a big passing day in this one, as the Giants will keep themselves at the top of the NFC East. Giants win 34-20.
Kansas City has quietly been one of the hottest teams in the NFL, and they will continue to stay on a roll against Buffalo. Kansas City wins 17-13.
Oakland attempts to keep their postseason hopes alive with a win in Tennessee to get themselves back on track. Oakland wins 16-13.
Philip Rivers has attempted to carry the weight of the franchise on his shoulders this season, and he can no longer support the burden. Even Jacksonville cruises to victory over the lowly Chargers. Jacksonville wins 28-10.
The Jets will win a big divisional home game by pressuring Miami into critical errors that will cost them in the end. Jets win 26-23.
Saints(4-6) at Texans(5-5)
The bye week rest, the spark of a coaching change, and a big game by Drew Brees will be enough for the Saints to pick up a surprising win in Houston. Saints win 31-26.
Sunday, November 29th - Late Games
Cardinals(8-2) at 49ers(3-7)
Arizona's confidence and balance will overwhelm the outclassed Niners. The Cards get the division win in the stadium they hope to be playing in this coming February. Arizona wins 35-7.
Seattle will pick up a big home win over Pittsburgh by utilizing a fierce pass rush on defense and a surprising passing day by Russell Wilson on offense. Seattle wins 34-24.
Sunday Night Football
Patriots(10-0) at Broncos(8-2) - Game of the Week
We won't be getting the classic Tom Brady vs Peyton Manning showdown we've become so accustomed to with this matchup, but thanks to the top-ranked Denver defense, the Broncos still have a shot to beat the undefeated Pats. In the end though, Brady will find Rob Gronkowski for a late, game-winning touchdown. New England wins 31-24.
Monday, November 30th - Monday Night Football
This game looks like hot garbage and it likely will be. Cleveland wins 24-21.
That's how I see Week 12 going down. Maybe the Saints can still salvage this season somehow. Leave us your picks, comments, and insight below.