The New Orleans Saints face their most hated rival, the Atlanta Falcons, with the NFC South lead at the halfway point in the season in the balance. The Saints had their most emotional game of the season against the Bucs in Week 8 and came out with the most exciting win of the season so far. Next into the Dome comes a team the Saints have a real rivalry with, the hated Falcons. This is their first meeting of 2021, and beating Atlanta will be a fantastic way to start to get past their tough losses on personnel.
The Saints took down Tom Brady and the Bucs a week ago, but it extracted a heavy toll. The loss of Jameis Winston at quarterback, while not a season-killer for the Saints is a huge emotional letdown. Now coupled with the knowledge Michael Thomas will not return this season either, the Saints have no option other than move forward with what has given them the success they have had so far this season. The Saints may have traded a soul for a soul to get the win a week ago, but that soul comes into this week against the Falcons unbroken.
Let’s take a look at this and all of the exciting NFL action in Week 9.
Last week I went 9-6
I told you so: Saints over Bucs!!!
What do I know: Falcons over Panthers?
Thursday, November 4th - Thursday Night Football
Jets(2-5) at Colts(3-5)
Fresh off the most surprising win of the season, its a bit too much to ask the Jets to pull out another win, especially on a short week. Indianapolis wins 31-17.
Sunday, November 7th - Early Games
Broncos(4-4) at Cowboys(6-1)
Dak or no Dak, it doesn't really matter in this one, Dallas get the win here. Dallas wins 31-16.
Patriots(4-4) at Panthers(4-4)
Mac Jones will get his, but Carolina’s defense will lead them to a win here at home. Carolina wins 28-24.
Vikings(3-4) at Ravens(5-2) - Game of the Week
This will be a surprisingly tense, back and forth affair. Lamar Jackson’s running skills will make the difference in getting Baltimore into range for a Justin Tucker game-winner in the closing seconds. Baltimore wins 24-23.
Browns(4-4) at Bengals(5-3)
Cleveland’s ground game will be a problem for the Cincy defense, but Joe Burrow’s play will be the key to victory in this back and forth affair. Cincinnati wins 36-32.
Bills(5-2) at Jaguars(1-6)
Buffalo’s stout defense will absolutely shut down the Jags in this one. Buffalo wins 27-6.
Following the end of rumors of his replacement (for now), Tua will have his best game of the season, here against Houston. Miami wins 21-16.
Raiders(5-2) at Giants(2-6)
The Raiders defense will be the key to a close victory here on the road. Las Vegas wins 24-21.
Falcons(3-4) at Saints(5-2)
Even before the loss of Jameis Winston, the Saints fielded one of the NFL’s most underwhelming passing attacks. Now that Winston is gone, the Saints will lean further into what has gotten them a 5-2 record, a dangerous and varied rushing attack, and one of the most dominant defenses in the entire league. Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram will dominate the day on the ground, controlling the tempo and running the Atlanta defense ragged.
Led by David Onyemata, the Saints defense will give Matt Ryan all the trouble he could possibly ask for, leading to backbreaking turnovers for the Falcons. Ultimately, the key to this Saints victory will come down to the offense avoiding turnovers of their own and protecting the ball, which they will. Taysom Hill, Trevor Simien, even Ian Book, doesn't matter, Saints by ten, Saints win 23-13.
Sunday, November 7th - Late Games
Chargers(4-3) at Eagles(3-5)
The Los Angeles defense will make the biggest difference in this matchup by shutting down Philly’s ground game. Los Angeles wins 28-21.
Packers(7-1) at Chiefs(4-4)
With Aaron Rodgers out of this dream media matchup against Patrick Mahomes, Green Bay won't be able to keep up with the Kansas City offense. Kansas City wins 28-21.
Cardinals(7-1) at 49ers(3-4)
This will be a defensive slugfest, but it will be Arizona’s offense, that unlike last week, comes through in the end. Arizona wins 17-13.
Sunday Night Football
Titans(6-2) at Rams(7-1)
The loss of Derrick Henry is a killer in this difficult matchup. Adrian Peterson will be shut down by the Rams defense, forcing Tennessee to be one-dimensional. On the other side, Matthew Stafford and the deadly Rams passing attack will wear out the Titans defense. Los Angeles wins 31-21.
Monday, November 8th - Monday Night Football
Bears(3-5) at Steelers(4-3)
The Pittsburgh defense will clamp down on the Chicago ground game, while forcing some critical errors from Justin Fields. Pittsburgh wins 29-23.
There you have it, Week 9 is here, and the Saints have a great opportunity to take the lead in the NFC South. Here’s to the Saints winning another big divisional game! Leave us your picks, comments, and insight below!