It’s the final Monday Night matchup of the season, and ESPN decided to let the best team in the NFL host it.
If the Saints win, they win their division. They could sit at 2 or 3, depending on how the Niners do today in Seattle. I’m picking the Niners to lose up there (but you can read about that later) giving the Saints home-field for their first game in the playoffs.
But it starts at home against their divisional foes, the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons have been a bit of a disappointment (though their record doesn’t show it). They’re inconsistent and are forgetting what made them special a couple years ago. That’s a good thing for the Saints, since that specialty is their running game, something the Saints have had a history of sucking at. But the Saints are even worse defending the Falcons’ new MO (ranked 28th against defending the pass…).
But a bad defense gets helped by a great offense, and the Saints definitely have that. If Drew gets an average 305-yard game Monday Night, he’ll surpass Dan Marino’s 1983 record of 5,084 passing yards, with still another game remaining at home next week. Drew nearly broke the record a couple years back on the final play of the season, but came just a few yards short.
So it goes without saying the Saints will probably get whatever they want on offense, especially at home. And Sean Payton and the boys love to show off in prime time games, so get ready for an offensive explosion. The Saints can see that No. 2 seed around the corner, and are going to everything they can to get it.
I was a disgusting 8-8 last week (second 8-8 of the year, second in three weeks…). So I’m saying screw it — I’m not going to get 175 wins this year so I might as well play like the Colts: play with no pressure.
Three of my picks that will sure to be wrong:
- Giants at Jets. Giants almost always lose after winning a game and almost always win after losing a game. And Eli is great on the road. They lost badly last week, and it was at home. They’re on the “road” this week. So odds are they’ll win this week, right? Well maybe. Problem is, while they’re on the “road,” it’s only technically. They play the Jets, and it’s the same stadium. But something about this game and what it means to the Giants going into the Cowboys game next week, and the annoyance that I have for Rex Ryan tells me the Giants will win.
- Eagles at Cowboys. The Eagles have surprisingly gotten better as the season has progressed and are pretty dialed in right now. While their chance of going to the Playoffs is real slim, a lot of people like them right now. And while I would love to see the Cowboys implode and see all the random LA Cowboy fans wearing frowns, I feel Romo will put up a good show against the Eagles defense today. I’ll probably be wrong, but hey, I’m playing with no pressure.
- Niners at Seahawks. I’m picking the Seahawks. Why? Because I’m dumb. But also because I want the Saints to get the No. 2 pick. In all honesty though, I really do think the Seahawks can win. Niners showed off a great defense last week, but the Seahawks are somewhat underrated. And they’re at home, with their 12th man. The Niners will win this game, but I am picking the Seahawks to pull it off. But I’ll be wrong.