The New Orleans Saints face the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field this week. The Saints are coming off of three consecutive double-digit wins, as they look to improve their record to 4-2. The Saints are the recipient of some great timing here, as they face the Packers on the road without the services of All-Pro quarterback Aaron Rodgers. This should clearly benefit the Saints, but they can't just mail it in and expect to win just by showing up.
Despite their tough break, Green Bay is well coached and they have the benefit of a fantastic homefield advantage. The Saints can take nothing for granted here, but they need to take advantage of a huge opportunity to steal a win from an undermanned opponent. Now let's take a look at this and all of the matchups in Week 7.
Last week I went 8-7
I told you so: Steelers over Chiefs!
What do I know: Ravens over Bears?
Thursday, October 19th - Thursday Night Football
Kansas City has had Oakland’s number for a while now, and there’s no reason to think that’s going to change here. Kansas City wins 24-14.
Sunday, October 22nd - Early Games
Buccaneers(2-3) at Bills(3-2)
As usual, Buffalo will rely on their defense and running game to carry the day. They’ll get the job done against a Tampa squad that struggles at those very things themselves. Buffalo wins 24-20.
Minnesota’s defense has been everything Baltimore was hoping their defense would be this year. Joe Flacco will be under constant pressure in this one. Minnesota wins 27-19.
The Jets’ defense will key in on Jay Ajayi in this one, forcing Miami to beat them through the air, which they won't. Jets win 19-17.
Arizona’s offense finally showed the flashes of balance they hoped to have when the season started. Now they get the chance to put themselves in the race for the NFC West title against a Los Angeles defense that has underperformed all season. Arizona wins 28-23.
Even if Leonard Fournette misses this game, Jacksonville will still have more than enough to throttle their AFC South rivals in Indy. Jacksonville wins 41-19.
Things are starting to look up for the Bears, but Carolina will come up with the big stops on defense in the closing moments in Chicago. Carolina wins 27-24.
Tennessee will do what all other teams do to Cleveland. Tennessee wins 28-14.
Saints(3-2) at Packers(4-2)
If you put Aaron Rodgers in this game, you get a narrow Green Bay victory, but he’s not playing in this game and that makes all the difference in the world. The Saints haven't left Lambeau Field with a win since 2006, but the last two games at Green Bay (‘11 & ‘12) both came down to the final play. The Saints can play in Green Bay, and play well, especially without having to face the Packers’ greatest weapon.
Now, Green Bay quarterback Brett Hundley did throw for 236 yards and 4 touchdowns against the Saints in the 2015 preseason finale, but that was a throwaway preseason game against a defense so bad we need no reminder of it. The Saints have shown a tendency to let backups have huge games against them in the past under Sean Payton, but don't expect to see that here. The Saints have been gifted a huge advantage here, they get Green Bay without their superstar and before the bitter winter cold sets in. They’ll make the most of it and leave Lambeau Field with a huge victory in hand. Saints win 31-21.
Sunday, October 22nd - Late Games
Dallas will be desperate to win this game, in order to stay in an NFC East race that is steadily slipping further away from them. They’ll have a tricky time putting their old rivals away in San Francisco, but they’ll get the job done. Dallas wins 28-24.
Denver, coming off a massive upset last Sunday Night, will escape Los Angeles with a late field goal to beat the suddenly surging Chargers. Denver wins 21-19.
This one will be an outright defensive war between bitter AFC North rivals. Pittsburgh will make the plays late to seal the victory at home in this one. Pittsburgh wins 20-18.
The Giants are coming off a surprising win in Denver but Seattle will leave New York with a convincing win this week. Seattle wins 32-14.
Sunday Night Football
None of us will ever forget that glorious night Atlanta blew a 25 point lead to New England to choke away the Lombardi Trophy in Super Bowl LI. Now we get to revisit those wonderful memories as the Falcons and Patriots have their “rematch”. Surely the Falcons will be all fired up to exact some revenge on the Pats, but none of it will ever make up for that loss this past February. Atlanta could win this one 28-3 and it still wouldn't make up for the fact that they couldn't win the one that mattered most.
The toughest thing for the fans to accept is that as bad as that loss hurt at the time it happened, it'll only get worse with time. There is no making up for that one. Time can't heal that loss. It’ll sink in for them more when a few years go by and the Falcons haven't gotten any closer than they were near the end of the 3rd quarter on February 5th, 2017. It’ll be too much to bear when Matt Ryan has retired and people reflect on his one chance to win it all and how it all slipped away like sand through his fingers. Then, in those moments, will the gravity of that loss truly sink in.
Anyway, the Pats won that game and they’ll win this one too, even with the NFL’s worst defense. New England wins 32-26.
Monday, October 23rd - Monday Night Football
This game will be won or lost by one of the quarterbacks. Philly’s Carson Wentz will have a much better game than his Washington counterpart, Kirk Cousins. Philly will continue their incredible start with another win. Philadelphia wins 32-17.
That's how I see Week 7 shaping up, hopefully the Saints can make it three wins in a row and find themselves atop the NFC South for the first time since 2013. Leave us your picks, comments, and insight below.