The New Orleans Saints face the Carolina Panthers in the Saints’ final road game of the season (and beyond). The Saints swept the season series against the Panthers last year and defeated them in the Wild Card playoff to make it 3 wins in a row. Now the Saints will face Carolina in two of the final three games of the season, starting this Monday night in Charlotte.
Following this game, the Saints may not have to play another game in a stadium that doesn't have Mercedes-Benz in the name until next preseason. The Saints currently sit as the top overall seed in the NFC and all they have to do to stay that way is to handle their own business and win their final three games. It all starts here, one last time on the road, before the start of the biggest homestand the Saints and New Orleans have had in a long time. Let’s take a look at this and all of the upcoming action in Week 15.
Last week I went 7-9
I told you so: Bears over Rams!
What do I know: Eagles over Cowboys?
Thursday, December 13th - Thursday Night Football
This game could easily be billed as the AFC West Championship Game, as a Kansas City win gives them the division title, while a Los Angeles win pulls them to a tie for the division lead with 2 weeks to go. This one could be, and should be, an aerial showcase for Patrick Mahomes and Philip Rivers. The Chargers are closer to the Chiefs than many believe, and this is their chance to prove it. Andy Reid’s Chiefs simply have the Chargers’ number, and that coupled with homefield advantage will be the difference in this pivotal matchup. Kansas City wins 31-24.
Saturday, December 15th - Saturday NFL Special
Deshaun Watson and the Houston passing attack will have a great showing on the road against the Jets. Houston wins 25-17.
The Denver rushing attack will be too much for Cleveland’s defense to handle at Mile High. Denver wins 29-14.
Sunday, December 16th - Early Games
Chicago will finally solve the Aaron Rodgers puzzle, beating Green Bay in the most cathartic win possible. Chicago wins 27-13.
Buffalo’s top-ranked defense will easily handle Detroit’s lethargic offense in this one. Buffalo wins 19-16.
Buccaneers(5-8) at Ravens(7-6)
Tampa may put up a lot of yards through the air, but that isn't happening in Baltimore this week against the Ravens defense, who is looking to erase the memories of the highlight plays given up last week in KC. Baltimore wins 33-14.
Atlanta may be pathetic, but they’ll look competent against Arizona here at home. Atlanta wins 34-20.
Oakland will actually win two games in a row, as they face the league’s worst defense in Cincinnati. Oakland wins 28-14.
The Giants may be on a bit of a roll here, but Tennessee will squeak out a victory on the road, as they look to keep their playoff hopes alive. Tennessee wins 22-20.
Miami is fresh off of pulling off a miracle against the Pats, while Minnesota is coming off a Monday Night beatdown in Seattle. You’d think Miami gets this one but they just can't be trusted on the road. Minnesota rebounds with a win at home, keeping their playoff hopes afloat. Minnesota wins 26-23.
In what may be the worst quarterback matchup of the season, Washington’s death march continues thanks to a series of turnovers forced by the Jacksonville defense. Jacksonville wins 31-14.
Andrew Luck will do his best to keep this one close but Dallas ultimately outlasts the Colts in Indy. Dallas wins 21-16.
Sunday, December 17th - Late Games
Russell Wilson will have a big game against the rival Niners in the Bay. Seattle wins 26-13.
You would be mistaken if you believed the Rooney family owned the Steelers, because Bill Belichick owns the Steelers. Pittsburgh will continue their freefall in the standings, with a trip to the Superdome following this crushing home loss. New England wins 32-25.
Sunday Night Football
This game is going to be a wild shootout, so don't expect to see much defense in this one at all. There are quite a few threads to follow in this matchup Jared Goff coming home from the Chicago cold.
Carson Wentz returning to the place his season came to an end just over a year ago. Nick Foles returning to the place where his improbable run to a Super Bowl title began a year ago. Two great front fours looking to slow down these two quarterbacks.
Los Angeles will get back to their usual ways, after being dominated last Sunday Night, but Philly will be surprisingly good here, in a spot where they simply can't afford to fail. A loss here will all but bury Philly’s chance to make the playoffs. The Rams will get Philly’s best shot, and they’ll leave it all on the field in this one. Philly stuns the Rams in LA, as this game comes down to the final play. Philadelphia wins 38-37.
Monday, December 17th - Monday Night Football
Saints(11-2) at Panthers(6-7)
The Saints field the NFL’s most underrated defense, and it will be that unit that wins this game by doing what they do best, shutting down the opposition’s running game. Carolina’s inability to go to their biggest strength will be their undoing. Cam Newton will be forced to run a one-dimensional offense, where the New Orleans pass rush will be able to impose its will as the game wears on.
Drew Brees and the Saints offense will still have some work to do before they pick back up to full speed, like we saw in games like LA, Cincy, and Philly, and they won’t be anywhere near that level here, but they’ll get enough to secure a tough victory in hostile territory one last time. The Saints make it four in a row against the Panthers, giving them a chance to make it five in a row once the season finale gets here in two weeks. Saints win 28-17.
That’s how I see Week 15 playing out as we approach the end of the 2018 NFL Season. Leave us your picks, comments, and insight below!