The New Orleans Saints head to Tampa to face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, looking to regroup after their extremely embarrassing loss to their rivals from Atlanta last week. The Saints have no time to dwell on that shocking beating they took at home as now they face their second of three consecutive divisional opponents. Many believe the Saints are poised to smash the Bucs in retaliation from their embarrassment a week ago, but remember, the Saints haven't swept the season series from Tampa since the 2014 season, and having already beat the Bucs this year, things will certainly not come easy for New Orleans. Much like a week ago, when the signs all pointed to a Saints romp, we were quickly reminded that there's no such thing as a sure thing, and the Saints will need to come out with focus and determination to come away from Tampa with a win.
Now lets take a look at this and all of the NFL action in Week 11.
Last week I went 3-10 (the only thing uglier than this was the Saints’ performance last week)
I told you so: Seahawks over Niners!
What do I know: Cards over Bucs?
Thursday, November 14th - Thursday Night Football
Steelers(5-4) at Browns(3-6)
Pittsburgh’s defense will be the difference in this one, stopping Cleveland on the ground and forcing Baker Mayfield to win the game, which he will not. Pittsburgh wins 27-20.
Sunday, November 17th - Early Games
Falcons(2-7) at Panthers(5-4)
Carolina will have a monster game from Christian McCaffrey, who will absolutely dominate the Atlanta defense on the ground and through the air. The Panthers will bury Atlanta in the trenches and dominate in the red zone, making for a very, very long day for the dirty birds. Carolina wins 45-10.
Cowboys(5-4) at Lions(3-5-1)
Dallas is just too balanced and skilled for Detroit to handle in this one. Dallas wins 31-21.
Jaguars(4-5) at Colts(5-4)
This has the feeling of a game that will come down to the very last minute. Jacksonville wins 16-14.
Bills(6-3) at Dolphins(2-7)
Fitzmagic won't be enough to get Miami past this very good Buffalo defense. Buffalo wins 30-20.
Texans(6-3) at Ravens(7-2) - Game of the Week
MVP candidates Deshaun Watson and Lamar Jackson will put on an absolute show in Baltimore in this marquee matchup. This matchup is as even as they come, but Baltimore will edge out Houston in the end, behind a rabid home crowd. Justin Tucker will nail the game winner as time expires. Baltimore wins 33-31.
Broncos(3-6) at Vikings(7-3)
As reliable as Denver’s defense has been, it won't be able to carry the Broncos in Minnesota. Minnesota wins 29-13.
Jets(2-7) at Redskins(1-8)
WOOF! Jets win 29-26.
Saints(7-2) at Buccaneers(3-6)
It should be clear that Tampa is likely to attack the Saints’ corners with their dynamic receivers, so it will be up to the Saints pass-rushers to put a lot of pressure on Jameis Winston, forcing him into bad throws and worse mistakes. On defense, the Saints have to take the running game away, get after Winston, and force the QB into turnovers.
On offense, the Saints have to find someone, anyone other than Michael Thomas to be a viable pass-catcher. The Saints have to convert on precious red zone opportunities and get the running game back on track. Considering the talent, depth, and experience on this roster, that should not be too much to ask.
While the Saints haven swept the Bucs in five years, this week is as good as any to snap that trend. The Saints will awaken from their listless slumber from a week ago, and they will be humble and reenergized against this familiar and hated divisional rival. Saints win 28-24.
Sunday, November 17th - Late Games
Cardinals(3-6-1) at 49ers(8-1)
San Francisco will rebound from their crushing loss last Monday Night, with a win over Arizona that won't be as close as their last matchup. San Francisco wins 25-15.
Bengals(0-9) at Raiders(5-4)
Oakland will just be the next in line to easily dispatch of the pathetic Bengals. Oakland wins 32-19.
Patriots(8-1) at Eagles(5-4)
Upset alert! Behind an inspired performance and a raucous crowd, Philly steals a huge upset win by capitalizing on an uncharacteristic turnover from Tom Brady with the game on the line. Philadelphia wins 38-31.
Sunday Night Football
Bears(4-5) at Rams(5-4)
Quarterback play won't be very pretty in this one, but the key will be Chicago’s ability to run the ball on offense and capitalize on multiple turnovers on defense. Chicago wins 24-20.
Monday, November 18th - Monday Night Football
Chiefs(6-4) at Chargers(4-6) - Aztec Stadium - Mexico City, Mexico
Both of these teams have been up and down in recent weeks, looking like they are both contenders and pretenders, depending on the game. Expect the ball to fly all over the high altitude in Mexico City, and this one will come down to the very end. Kansas City wins 33-30.
There we go, Week 11 is shaping up to be pretty interesting. The Saints have the chance to put the ugly loss to Atlanta behind them and start a new winning streak in the second half of the season. Leave us your picks, comments, and insight below!