The New Orleans Saints face the Carolina Panthers for sole possession of first place in the NFC South. The Saints currently hold a tiebreaker over the Panthers by virtue of their 34-13 win at Carolina in September. Now the Saints enter their most crucial game of the season. With a win the Saints continue to control their destiny tin the race for the NFC South title. With a loss, an amazing season suddenly becomes extremely difficult. The Saints are now entering the home stretch and every game is crucial. Let's take a look at this game and all of the rest on the Week 13 schedule.
Last week I went 11-5
I told you so: Chargers over Cowboys!
What do I know: Lions over Vikings?
Thursday, November 30th - Thursday Night Football
Redskins(5-6) at Cowboys(5-6)
Dallas’ freefall out of playoff contention continues here against Washington. Washington wins 23-10.
Sunday, December 3rd - Early Games
Vikings(9-2) at Falcons(7-4)
Minnesota’s stellar defense rightfully attracts all of the national attention, but it will be Case Keenum that surprises in Atlanta. Keenum will be the best quarterback on the field in this one, as Minnesota imposes their will over the Falcons. Minnesota wins 31-20.
Texans(4-7) at Titans(7-4)
Tennessee moves closer to the Jags and a shot at the AFC South title with a home win here. Tennessee wins 21-10.
Chiefs(6-5) at Jets(4-7)
Kansas City’s woes continue with another tough loss on the road. Jets win 20-14.
Broncos(3-8) at Dolphins(4-7)
Miami will take advantage of a rare matchup where they have the advantage at quarterback. Miami wins 26-25.
Colts(3-8) at Jaguars(7-4)
Jacksonville rebounds from a surprising Week 12 loss, with a win here at home against Indy. Jacksonville wins 26-17.
Buccaneers(4-7) at Packers(5-6)
Tampa will come up short against Green Bay in cold Lambeau Field. Green Bay wins 28-21.
Lions(6-5) at Ravens(6-5)
Baltimore’s lack of a passing game will hurt them against Matthew Stafford and the Detroit passing attack. Detroit wins 24-17.
Patriots(9-2) at Bills(6-5)
Familiarity and contempt will be the only factors keeping this game close in Buffalo. New England wins 21-17.
49ers(1-10) at Bears(3-8)
San Francisco’s blatant attempt to stay in the #2 spot in the draft will show its ugly head in this one. Chicago wins 28-6.
Sunday, December 3rd - Late Games
Browns(0-11) at Chargers(5-6)
UPSET ALERT! I know its almost blasphemous to pick Cleveland at any point this season, but they have a slight chance here in Los Angeles, where the Chargers have no true homefield advantage to speak of. The Chargers are now facing actual expectations of winning now, as they have become chic favorites to win the AFC West. They usually don't fare well against expectations. Cleveland will stun the Bolts with a game-winning field goal as time expires. Cleveland wins 24-23.
Giants(2-9) at Raiders(5-6)
The Geno Smith era will begin just as you'd expect for the Giants in Oakland. Oakland wins 31-9.
Rams(8-3) at Cardinals(5-6)
Behind a balanced offensive attack, Los Angeles will wear down the Arizona defense in the desert. Los Angeles wins 20-10.
Panthers(8-3) at Saints(8-3)
Yes, the Saints throttled the Panthers in Carolina this past September, but to expect an exact duplication of that would be absolutely foolish. This game will be much more difficult. In fact, the Saints haven't swept the season series against Cam Newton’s Panthers since Newton’s rookie year in 2011.
The Saints will need a few important things to happen in order to win this one. First, they need Marshon Lattimore and Ken Crawley back at corner, which should be happening. Next, they have to get someone other than Cam Jordan to get pressure on Newton, which we can only hope for. Lastly, Drew Brees has to rebound from his ugly game last week in Los Angeles, we shouldn't be surprised to see Drew have a big game here. Carolina has one of the NFL’s best defenses, but the Saints know how to attack it.
The Saints need this one. The Panthers need this one. This is the biggest game in the NFC South so far this season, and it will live up to expectations. It’ll come down to the wire, but the home team will get the pivotal win in the end. Saints win 30-28.
Sunday Night Football
Eagles(10-1) at Seahawks(7-4) - Game of the Week
Philadelphia only has one more regular season loss left in them this year, and this is where it happens. Seattle is far from invincible at home nowadays, but in primetime, with their backs against the wall, against a team that has faced zero adversity this season, Russell Wilson will rise to the occasion. This one will come down to the final moments and Seattle will stun Philly in a classic. Seattle wins 23-21.
Monday, December 4th - Monday Night Football
Steelers(9-2) at Bengals(5-6)
This blood-feud has lost some steam recently, but Pittsburgh will, once again, best Cincy. Pittsburgh wins 29-17.
There it is, Week 13 of the NFL season. The Saints control their own destiny and the 2017 NFC South title, a win this week is crucial to fulfilling that destiny. Leave us your picks, comments, and insight below!