For as long as Drew Brees and Sean Payton have been together in New Orleans, the Saints have been a pass first team that just tries to outscore their opponent. Defense and the ground game usually came off as an afterthought and aspects of the game that just helped give Drew and the offense a rest. All that said, the Saints were one of the most fun teams to watch, especially for fantasy purposes. Every week at least one of their players would go off and have fantasy owners shaking their heads. That fantasy element hasn't changed, now it's just running backs tearing up the league, not wide receivers and gifted tight ends.
Fast forward to a cold game in Buffalo this past Sunday and the Saints seem to have completed the transformation into a team that puts the run game first and puts an emphasis on defense. Mark Ingram and rookie Alavin Kamara have really come into their own and carried the team after the Adrian Peterson trade. Obviously, Peterson has proven his point that he still has something left in the tank, but he was the 3rd best RB on that roster. Good for the Cardinals, Peterson, and the Saints though, this seems to be a rare happy ending for all involved in an NFL trade.
On Sunday, the Saints had 298 rushing yards and 6 rushing TD's! That's the 3rd highest yardage total in their franchise history, even Brees got in on the scoring act by running in his own TD since he didn't need to pass one in for the victory. This isn't your daddy's Saints. The team is built to travel and play in January with their improved defense and clock control offense that still manages to put up 29.8 points per game.
This team is going to be a tough out in the playoffs. If they continue to win and have home field at the Super Dome throughout the playoffs, we could be looking at the NFC representative in the Super Bowl. With a 7-2 record currently it's not looking that far fetched. It will be up to the Eagles to keep winning and keep home field, because it doesn't look like this version of the Saints are going away.
Just looking at this picture I feel the same level of worry and ineptitude that Giants fans feel. The 1-8 Giants lost to the previously winless 49ers this past Sunday and looked terrible in the process. Eli Manning looks like he is just struggling to complete passes and his best days are more than likely behind him. Ben McAdoo looks lost on the sidelines and each week his confusion is only hidden by his enormous sunglasses that seem to get bigger with each loss. By week 17, if he hasn't been fired yet, he'll be wearing cartoon pink glasses and losing by 50. Did you see his sunglasses last week?
This proud franchise deserves better than what has transpired this season. I understand that injuries happen and have really hampered the team, but dear Lord, they are getting blown out by the worst team in the league. Then that makes me think, are they the worst team in the league? It sort of looks that way right now.
There have been some bright spots this season, Evan Engram, Sterling Shepard, Orleans Darkwa, Landon Collins, but overall the team has been a huge disappointment. McAdoo needs to go and it's time to prepare for Eli's departure and start grooming the next generation's QB. Luckily they will have a high draft pick next year and can hopefully get a decent QB or some offensive linemen to protect whoever will line up under center next season. Now onto the picks!
Week 11 Picks
Justin (2017 Season)
- Outright - (82-57) Week 10 - (11-3)
- Spread - (61-64-4) (5-8-1)
- Over/Under - (59-71-2) (7-7)
Thursday, Nov. 16
- Tennessee Titans at Pittsburgh Steelers (-7, 43.5)
Sunday, Nov. 19
1 p.m. ET
- Detroit Lions (-3, 41) at Chicago Bears UNDER
- Jacksonville Jaguars (-7.5, 37) at Cleveland Browns OVER
- Baltimore Ravens (-2, 38) at Green Bay Packers OVER
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Miami Dolphins (PK, 42) UNDER
- Los Angeles Rams at Minnesota Vikings (-2, 46) UNDER
- Washington Redskins at New Orleans Saints(O) (-7.5, 51.5) OVER
- Kansas City Chiefs (O) (-10.5, 46) at New York Giants OVER
- Arizona Cardinals at Houston Texans (-1.5, 38.5) UNDER
4:05 p.m. ET
- Buffalo Bills at Los Angeles Chargers (NL)
4:25 p.m. ET
- Cincinnati Bengals at Denver Broncos (-2.5, 39) UNDER
- New England Patriots (O)(-7, 55) at Oakland Raiders OVER
8:30 p.m. ET
- Philadelphia Eagles (-4.5, 48.5) at Dallas Cowboys OVER
Monday, Nov. 20
- Atlanta Falcons at Seattle Seahawks (-3, 44.5) OVER
2017 Season Predictions (UPDATED)
Division Winners/Playoff Teams
AFC Championship - Pittsburgh Steelers(30-27) vs New England Patriots
AFC East - New England Patriots (12-4)
AFC South - Jacksonville Jaguars (11-5)
AFC North - Pittsburgh Steelers (12-4)
AFC West - Kansas City Chiefs (10-6)
AFC Wild Card 1 - Tennessee Titans (10-6)
AFC Wild Card 2 - Oakland Raiders (9-7)
NFC Championship - Seattle Seahawks(27-20) vs Philadelphia Eagles
NFC East - Philadelphia Eagles (13-3)
NFC South - New Orleans Saints (12-4)
NFC North - Minnesota Vikings (10-6)
NFC West - Seattle Seahawks (11-5)
NFC Wild Card 1 - Los Angeles Rams (10-6)
NFC Wild Card 2 - Chicago Bears (8-8)
Super Bowl LII - February 4th, 2018
Super Bowl 52
Seattle Seahawks(37-34 OT) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Justin is the Founder and Editor at Large for Rooted, A Gentlemen's Blog. He grew up in Illinois as a military brat but has made Raleigh his home for the last decade. These experiences influence his views expressed on The Gentlemen's Blog. He enjoys sports, politics, music, entertainment, and humor. For Justin, nothing is off limits. He loves to spend his free time with his wife and his pup, Bruce.