The New Orleans Saints face the Pittsburgh Steelers back home in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. After finishing a rigorous three-game road stretch, the Saints finally come back to New Orleans, and they don't return empty handed. The Saints stand just one win away from securing homefield advantage throughout the playoffs. While they still would have an opportunity to get that win in Week 17, the Saints would certainly love to get that win here against the Steelers, effectively making Week 17 an extended bye for their starters that are pretty banged-up here at the end of the season, especially on the offensive line.
Lets take a look at this matchup as well as the rest of the Week 16 NFL schedule this Christmas!
Last week I went 9-7
I told you so: Eagles over Rams!!!
What do I know: Cowboys over Colts?
Saturday, December 22nd- Saturday NFL Special
Tennessee’s rushing attack will rule the day here at home against Washington, keeping their Wild Card hopes alive. Tennessee wins 24-19.
Saturday, December 22nd - Saturday Night Football
Both teams enter this primetime game in second place in their respective divisions, but both also have the chance to takeover first place by next week’s season finale. This game is crucial to Baltimore and Los Angeles’ hopes in that regard. This is a great matchup and should make for a fantastic game. Ultimately, LA’s pass defense will be the difference in this close contest. Los Angeles wins 26-24.
Sunday, December 23rd - Early Games
Surprisingly, Cleveland enters this game with slim, but real Wild Card hopes. A huge day by Baker Mayfield will put the home crowd into a frenzy, as the Cleveland faithful pray for a Wild Card Christmas gift. Cleveland wins 28-13.
Buccaneers(5-9) at Cowboys(8-6)
Dallas rebounds from a road shutout last week with an easy win in Tampa. Dallas wins 20-10.
Minnesota’s pass rush will be the story in this one, stifling Matthew Stafford and the Lions in Detroit. Minnesota wins 21-14.
New England rebounds from their disappointing loss in Pittsburgh with a routine victory in Buffalo. New England wins 29-9.
Sam Darnold and the Jets just won't be able to keep pace with Aaron Rodgers and the Pack. Green Bay wins 21-17.
Homefield and a hot hand will be the difference as Nick Foles and the Eagles defeat Houston, keeping Philly’s playoff hopes intact. Philadelphia wins 28-20.
The Taylor Heinicke era in Carolina will not start well, as the Atlanta native takes his first loss against his hometown team. Atlanta wins 24-17.
Andrew Luck and Indy will get this win at home, keeping their Wild Card hopes alive, but it won't come as easy as most suspect. Indianapolis wins 14-13.
Miami may be mediocrity personified but they will benefit from playing the AFC’s most disappointing team at home. Miami wins 24-16.
Sunday, December 23rd - Late Games
Los Angeles rebounds from their massive loss at home last week, by torching the helpless Arizona defense. Los Angeles wins 33-16.
Despite San Francisco’s stunning win over Seattle last week, Chicago will face little resistance against the Niners in this one. Chicago wins 20-16.
Steelers(8-5-1) at Saints(12-2)
Much has been made of the Saints’ offensive struggles over the majority of the past three weeks, but what gets buried under the fretting is the simple fact that in that stretch the Saints faced a top five-defense in Dallas, and two highly motivated rivals in Tampa and Carolina. Don't forget that all three of those games took place on the road. First, in primetime in supercharged Dallas, next, in storm-ravaged Tampa, and finally, in primetime against an angry Carolina team fighting to stay in the playoff race.
Now the Saints return home for what, with a win here, will be the first of four consecutive games in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, where the Saints regularly become the best versions of themselves. The defense will continue to play remarkably here at home, just as they did in their previous home games against Philly and Atlanta.
Drew Brees will get back to his Superdome form, with a 320 yard 3 touchdown performance. The young Saints receivers will regain the confidence that was waning in that road trip as well. On the ground, the Saints will find success as well, as Mark Ingram will punish the Steelers defense with a relentless attack that should have been showcased more even last Monday Night, but will be remedied in this game, as he will break out for 110 yards on the ground.
This game will see the Saints find a return to form, even with a patchwork offensive line. The Saints are coming home, right where they want to be. They can set themselves up to not have to leave the Superdome until it is time for the Super Bowl. The Saints know exactly what that means for their chances in pursuit of the Lombardi trophy. They will make this an early Christmas present for themselves and their fans. Saints win 31-20.
Sunday Night Football Finale
Russell Wilson and the Seattle passing game will have its biggest game of the season against the Kansas City secondary. Seattle’s defense won't be able to stop Patrick Mahomes and the KC offense, but they wont need to. Homefield advantage and the Seattle rain will provide the edge the Seahawks need to get over the top in this Sunday Night shootout. Seattle wins 32-31.
Monday, December 24th - Monday Night Football Finale
The Raiders will play in Oakland for what will likely be the final time in this game, as an early move to Las Vegas, or a one-season stop in San Diego or even San Antonio may be needed for the Silver and Black. They will fittingly play their rivals from Denver as the send-off in Oakland. An emotional last-second victory will be a fitting ending for Oakland on Christmas Eve, as they watch the Raiders leave them for a second time in franchise history. Brutal. Oakland wins 17-16.
The Saints can secure the massive advantage of homefield throughout the playoffs with a win here. An incredible opportunity for the Saints and their fans await this Sunday! What a fantastic Christmas gift that would be! Leave us your picks, comments, and insight below! Merry Christmas, Who Dat Nation!