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5 things to look out for on Thanksgiving

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Is the 2022 Thanksgiving slate one of the best ever? Five out of six teams have winning records

1. Bills looking to put pressure on the Dolphins in AFC East race

Sean McDermott’s Buffalo Bills are in a need of a win to get their push for the AFC East and a chance to host a playoff game back on track.

A win for the Bills puts pressure on the Miami Dolphins who currently lead the division and hold the tie-breaker over Buffalo until they meet again in Week 15.

It’ll be tough as they’re without two more key defensive players, with Tremaine Edmunds and Greg Rousseau both out with groin and leg injuries respectively

2. Can the Lions finally win on Thanksgiving?

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As is Thanksgiving tradition, the Lions are back on the early game again but haven’t won in five on Turkey Day, the last one coming against the Vikings in 2016.

In fact, the Lions have only won four in their last eighteen Thanksgiving games, and are 6-15 since the turn of the century

Dan Campbell’s Lions could change that today, coming into the game in hot form having won their last three, and turning their season around from what looked like a mess just a few weeks ago.

3. Things are looking good in Dallas

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Sunday’s dominant win over the Minnesota Vikings was one of the most impressive Cowboys’ victories in years, beating a team that took down Buffalo just seven days earlier by 37 points.

Their offense has come alive since the return of Dak Prescott in Week 7, scoring over 40 points in two of the four games and winning three times.

Micah Parsons has been phenomenal in his second season, he however is hurt currently and questionable heading into this one, the star outside linebacker will be crucial in a crunch playoff match.

4. After losing two of their last three, have the Giants fallen off?

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The 7-3 New York Giants are the 7-3 Cowboys’ opponents as the two historic franchises fight it out for the lead in the hunt for the division-leading Philadelphia Eagles.

Brian Daboll’s team’s form is dipping just as Dallas is getting hot, losing two of their last three and conceding more points than normal, a win to stop the rot here would be big.

Giants games have always been close and low scoring this season, eight of their ten games have been within one score, whilst opposing offenses have only scored more than 30 points twice.

5. Are either of the Patriots or Vikings actually good?

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10 games into the season the New England Patriots and Minnesota Vikings have 13 wins between them, but are either of them real?

Both Minnesota losses were bad and came against good opponents just a week after well-worked wins as an underdog.

Bill Belichick has his New England defense playing lights out right now, allowing just 26 points in their past three games, winning all of them amidst a quarterback controversy. 

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5 things to look out for in Week 11

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Week 11 sees the NFL return to Mexico, a key AFC East battle, and a few crucial players potentially return from injury

1. Can Jeff Saturday go 2-0 as the Colts welcome the 8-1 Eagles to Indianapolis?

The Philadelphia Eagles’ hopes for an unbeaten season were ended on Monday night after a 32-21 loss at home to the Washington Commanders.

Colts Interim HC Jeff Saturday won his first-ever game as an NFL coach on Sunday, against the Raiders in a game that featured a rare Matt Ryan 40-yard run, only days after being an analyst for ESPN.

What makes Saturday’s achievement even more spectacular than your average new interim coach bounce is the fact that he has no play-calling experience whatsoever and has only previously operated at high school level.

2. Will the New England Patriots catapult themselves into contention for the AFC East with a win vs the New York Jets?

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Every team in the AFC East not only has a winning record but also would be in the playoffs if they started today.

After upsetting the Bills 20-17 two weeks ago, the Jets are back from a bye, refreshed and travel to New England for a must-win game to help their playoff push.

New England were victorious 22-17 as the away team in their Week 8 meeting, a win for Bill Belichick’s team puts them within a chance of being unexpectedly right in the mix late in the year.

3. Who’s better, the 6-3 Cowboys or 8-1 Vikings?

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The Dallas Cowboys are 6-3, they have however had one of the easiest schedules in the league this season, that changes on Sunday as they face the 8-1 Minnesota Vikings.

Minnesota, like Dallas, had many questioning their legitimacy but came away from Buffalo with a win in dramatic fashion, silencing their doubters.

Kevin O’Connell’s team are able to grind out wins, every victory in their current seven-game streak is by one score, they’ll be a real challenge for the Cowboys.

4. Will SNF see the Los Angeles Chargers get their playoff push back on track with a win at home to the Kansas City Chiefs?

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Justin Herbert may get the added boost of having Mike Williams and Keenan Allen back to help him go toe to toe with Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs on Sunday Night Football.

Allen’s hamstring injury initially occurred in Week 1, before suffering a setback on his return in week 7, the same game that Williams went down with a high ankle sprain.

Kansas City have only scored less than 20 points once all year, but are without Mecole Hardman and Juju Smith-Schuster going into this one.

5. Will Kyler Murray be back for the fifth and final international game of 2022?

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Mexico City hosts two NFC West teams as the Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers go head-to-head at Estadio Azteca on MNF.

Kyler Murray could be back for Arizona, but if he’s not, their backup QB Colt McCoy is coming off a big game in Los Angeles, where the Cards came away 27-17 winners over the Rams.

A win for San Francisco will see them overtake Seattle for the lead of the division, and in the driving seat for a home playoff game. 

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One Fed-Up Takeaway From the New Orleans Saints Dismal Defeat In The Steel City

The Saints dropped to 3-7 after a dreadful display against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, and there is simply only one takeaway that matters after another putrid defeat. Dennis Allen is not the answer for the Saints, and he should not be the coach after this season. Below I explain why.

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Dennis Allen Is Not It

At the start of this season, there were very high expectations for this Saints team. Michael Thomas was back. They signed Jarvis Landry and Tyrann Mathieu. Brought back pretty much all of the coaching staff that had been a part of the very successful 2017-2021 seasons. 

The NFC looked weak, and so did the division. The runway was clear for a much-improved season after the injury-riddled 2021 season ended, with the team still winning nine games. How could this team be worse than that one with all the additions to an already talented roster?

One element was drastically overlooked, replacing a hall-of-fame level HC in with a coach who, in his first stint as an HC was fired after 2.5 seasons with an 8-28 record. Going from Sean Payton to Dennis Allen has not only not worked this season but has also set this team back for years to come.

The word of the off-season was continuity the Saints wanted to keep around the people that had helped Sean Payton build one of the winningest franchises during his tenure. In theory, this is not a bad plan. However, where this ultimately is a fatal floor, and this is the same with most coaches who come from the Belichick coaching tree as well. You can’t try to maintain the same culture the hall of fame HC did without that HC around to enforce and implement it.

Saints Twitter has been on fire since the first few weeks of the season with the mantra that DA is not the answer, I’ve tried to remain patient and make excuses to myself why things will improve. Injuries are the biggest excuse to rationalise the poor performances and to convince me things could and would improve. 

After Sunday’s performance, my patience ran out. Yes, there were again a monumental number of injuries to key starters. However, the bigger issues with this team, which have been present since the start of the season, are still present and still causing the team to lose.

At some point, that must come down to the HC, and for me, Sunday was my breaking point. Fundamentals are coached, and a culture of accountability for basic mistakes comes down to the coaches. For that to still not be in place ten weeks into the season is flat-out malpractice.

This team misses tackles constantly, sometimes turning minimal gains into huge ones and sometimes turning plays that should be a loss into plays that net positive yardage. Whichever way you slice it, basic tackles are not being made, and it’s been a consistently frustrating issue all season that should have been addressed and stamped out by now. 

The defense is Dennis Allen’s side of the ball, and for that side of the ball to have been the biggest issue of all, with the talent they have, the blame can only go to one person. 

The Saints are tied for third as the most penalised team in the league (72 penalties), have some of those calls been questionable? Absolutely, for example, I think all three DPI calls on Sunday against the Steelers were pretty poor calls, but it’s clear officiating has been inconsistent across the whole league.

However, the Saints lead are tied for the most False Start penalties in the league with 19 and are, by far, in a way leading the league in defensive holding penalties with a massive 15. The next closest is Green Bay, with 11. After that, it’s the Colts with 9. For perspective, the Chargers led the league last season with 15 defensive holding penalties across the 17-game season. The Saints are one behind that now, after only playing ten games.

Yes, some of these penalties are being committed by backups, but at this stage, they’ve had to play enough snaps due to injury that this should be stamped out by now, or they simply should not be playing. Calvin Throckmorton alone has accounted for five false start penalties, FIVE! He’s hardly a star on this team. Honestly, he’s not played at all well in his snaps this season. So, bench him, make an example that these mistakes won’t be tolerated, and do something to send a message that things have to change.

This all comes back to the HC. Is it fair to put all the blame on him? No, probably not this team has faced an ungodly amount of injuries that would be hard for anyone to overcome, including Payton. But my issue with the Dennis Allen operation is the inability to fix the problems that have been evident all season, and he’s shown a complete inability to do so.  

Would these problems with false starts, missed tackles, etc..  still be a problem if Sean Payton remained the coach? in my opinion, absolutely not.

Dennis Allen was an excellent DC for this team, something that I never thought I’d say after the Saints went through many legendary failures to find a competent DC over the years. Unfortunately, DA is not the answer as an HC, and because of this and the front office’s blind faith in him, they have set the team back for years to come. How you might ask? 

Well, because of misguided faith, the Saints traded away their first-round pick for the upcoming draft, which at this stage, they will be lucky if it’s not in the top 10, it could easily be in the top 5. In a draft, many are touting to have 4/5 top-tier QB prospects. With a first-round pick this year, the Saints could have hit the reset button on the franchise in the best way possible, but finding a young QB to build around, a young QB to give the fans hope.

Instead, we get to hear all off-season how the juggernaut Eagles team with very few holes, who made it deep into the playoffs, an Eagles team who may well win the SuperBowl pulled off the heist of the century and because of it, are now picking in the top 10. 

Unfortunately, firing DA would only be the start. The Saints need to then dip into the tombola of luck that is the HC hiring cycle, where it’s much easier to find the next Dennis Allen than it is to find the next Sean Payton. With no first-round pick, an aging roster, one of the worst cap outlooks in the league, and, crucially, no answer at QB. The list of potential suitors is likely to be shorter than it once would have been.

Sorry if you’re reading this, and I was hoping for a more positive outlook. I’ve tried that all season, and after Sunday, enough is enough. Buckle up Saints fans. The next few years could be a bumpy ride but don’t worry too much we are all going through this pain together.

For more Saints articles- https://www.full10yards.co.uk/saints/ 

Please let me know your feedback on this article and the others throughout the season. I’m always looking to improve and add things that people want to read about!

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5 things to look out for in Week 10

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Two exciting primetime games and the first NFL game in Germany are standouts in Week 10

1. Germany becomes the fifth country to host a regular-season game

Bayern Munich’s Allianz Arena welcomes Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Seattle Seahawks to Munich for the first-ever regular season game to be hosted in Germany.

Unlike in the UK, football is the second most watched sport in Germany, so it makes you wonder how it took so long for the country to get a game.

Both teams were victorious in Week 9, the Bucs’ comeback may be the turning point needed to finish the year strong and win their division, whilst the Seahawks have won four straight. 

2. 7-1 meets 6-2 as the Vikings travel to the Bills

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Josh Allen looks to be good to go for the Buffalo Bills as they host the Minnesota Vikings, after Allen, one of the MVP favourites, sustained a UCL injury in his throwing elbow against the Jets last week.

Two of the NFL’s best receivers in Justin Jefferson and Stefon Diggs grace the same field in this game, two years after the 2020 first round pick (acquired by the trade with the Bills) replaced Diggs in Minnesota. 

TJ Hockenson had a big day on his Vikings debut last week, having arrived via trade the previous Tuesday, he played a big part in winning their sixth one-score game of the season.

3. Ryan Tannehill returns for the Tennessee Titans as they host the Broncos

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The Denver Broncos stopped a run of four straight losses with their win over Jacksonville at Wembley before their bye, a win on Sunday is crucial as they’re all but out of it if they lose to the Titans

Tennessee are in the fight for the one seed in the AFC, following Buffalo’s loss to the Jets, unfortunately for them, they just lost out in overtime to the Chiefs on SNF last week.

They’ve coped very well without Ryan Tannehill, whilst Derrick Henry looks back to his best, having only averaged three yards per carry at the start of the season. 

4. San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Chargers in all-California clash on SNF

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Sunday Night Football sees two teams fighting for wildcard spots in their respective conferences, and potentially the division in the Niners’ case, battle it out.

Both the Chargers and 49ers are trending in the right direction, having both had a less-than-ideal start to this campaign, the latter noticed that, made a move, and their offense has been rolling since acquiring Christian McCaffrey.

San Francisco’s defense will be delighted with the fact that the Chargers’ offense is super banged up, with both Mike Williams and Keenan Allen joining the likes of Joey Bosa and Rashawn Slater on the sidelines. 

5. Can the Commanders end the Eagles’ hopes of an unbeaten season?

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Who would’ve thought that the Washington Commanders would be in the mix for the NFC wildcard spots having started 1-4!

The 4-5 Commanders have the chance to end Jalen Hurts and the Philadelphia Eagles’ hope for a perfect season, on Monday Night Football.

Expect this one to be closer than you think because the last five Commanders games have ended in one score, being the winning side on three occasions. 

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Analyzing Three Key New Orleans Saints Matchups Vs. The Steelers

The Saints are again wounded, this team just can’t seem to shake the injury bug, and unfortunately, it always seems to be key players that are missing time. But, at this stage, it doesn’t matter; one game back from the lead in the NFC South, the Saints need to start stacking victories.

These three matchups are the keys to securing a crucial victory.

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Saints Rushing Attack Vs The Steelers Front Seven 

Last week against the Ravens, the Saints offense crumbled when I couldn’t run the ball. It’s as simple as that. This offense goes as far as the running game will take them.

Against the Ravens it felt like as soon as it didn’t work on the first drives, Pete Carmichael caved and conceded that it wasn’t going to work, so we aren’t going to try.

That can’t happen this week, the Steelers on paper are relatively similar to the Ravens against the run. They have the personnel to execute the blueprint the Ravens showed last week to shut down the Saints rushing attack. Fast LBs, a big, experienced, and disciplined defensive front.

The Steelers enter Week Ten ranked seventh in the NFL in YPC given up (4.2 YPC) and will be getting reigning defensive player of the year, DE T.J. Watt, back after he tore his peck earlier in the season. 

The Saints will also be without two of their starting offensive line, which adds to the level of difficulty this week, but they have to find a way to be the bully we’ve seen in previous weeks.

That does not mean running Alvin Kamara up the gut 20 times. That means actually using Taysom Hill, running QB Power (arguably the league’s most effective play), and not giving up if it doesn’t work the first time.

We saw what the Andy Dalton-led offense looked like last week without a running game. We can’t see it again this week in a game the Saints can’t afford to lose.

Saints Defense Vs Fundamentals 

The Saints actually had a good plan on Monday night vs. Lamar Jackson, but the fundamentals of defense let them down, Tackling and coverage. 

The defense had 13 missed tackles on against the Ravens, which is a problem that has plagued the team all season. Many of those looked to be when the defense tried to corral Jackson.

The Saints blitz Lamar more than they have any other QB this season. I think the plan worked the problem was the execution. There were several times when Lamar should have been sacked or stopped for minimal gain, but the defense missed him. One play that springs to mind as an example Marcus Davenport came screaming off the edge and had Jackson for a sack but aimed high. Jackson slipped the sack and rushed for a first down (for reference, 4:20 in the 2nd quarter).

There were other examples of this all game.

The final issue was blown coverages. It looked like the Saints defense blew several against the Ravens, where players either didn’t know their assignment or couldn’t get lined up in time to execute it,

This should not be happening this far into a season, especially with the amount of experience the Saints have in the secondary. These coverage errors led to the Ravens first touchdown and plenty of first-down passes, some on big third downs.

The Saints will be without Marshon Lattimore again this week and could be without Marcus Maye and P.J. Williams as well this weekend. Meaning the depth of this secondary will again be tested. 

The Steelers offense is not a good one on paper, so giving them free big plays through missed tackles and blown coverages is a recipe for a long, frustrating game for the Saints.

Saints Defense And Turnovers.

If the Saints do play disciplined coverage, that should lead to turnovers.

The Saints still only have two interceptions on the season; only the Giants have fewer. That is putrid production from a secondary which such talent, The team as a whole only has seven takeaways, with one of those coming on special teams. Seven takeaways ranks second to last in the league, tied with the Dolphins and Commanders. Only the Raiders have less (5).

This is one of the main reasons for the team’s slump this year. They are last in the league in turnover differential at -10. 

This week the defense squares off with rookie QB Kenny Pickett, a player the Saints were rumored to have really liked in the draft this past season.

If you look at his numbers so far this season, PFF has charted how he does against pressure, no pressure, blitzed, and not blitzed.

It makes for interesting reading. Usually, QBs, especially rookies, perform better with a clean un-pressured pocket. It’s clear that’s not the case with Pickett.

So far, Pickett has thrown seven of his eight interceptions when he’s had a clean pocket. That’s a sign when a team makes Pickett read the defense and make the right decisions, he isn’t, and it forces the ball into windows that aren’t there.

It looks like sending four rushers, even if they aren’t being that effective ( and I think they would be), and making Pickett decide where to go with the ball with plenty of players in coverage could be a recipe for success this Sunday.

For more Saints articles- https://www.full10yards.co.uk/saints/ 

Please let me know your feedback on this article and the others throughout the season. I’m always looking to improve and add things that people want to read about!

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Four Takeaways From The Out-Matched New Orleans Saints Primetime Defeat

Gone are the days of a game like this being a primetime slug-fest between two teams with great talent and even greater expectations. 

The Saints were out-matched almost from the get-go in primetime last night against the Ravens, and sadly, I think this is only the start.

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This Offense Does Not Work Without The Running Game

It’s been clear for some time that this Saints offense goes as the running game does. Last night was a crippling reminder of that. Without it, you are expecting a 35-year-old Andy Dalton to function with Chris Olave and Alvin Kamara to throw, too, and that’s about it.

It was clear from the first drive the Ravens wanted to make the Saints one dimensional, they sold out to stop the run game, and they achieved that on the first drive. The Saints had a second and three, followed by a third and one. Usually, that’s exactly where the Saints want to be, they couldn’t convert, and it wasn’t close.

What happens when the offense has to pass, and the defense knows it? The defense blitzes, and the Ravens did that last night with great effectiveness. Getting to Dalton early and often with creative blitzes, especially on third down.

The Saints finished 3-11 on third down after entering the game as one of the league’s better third-down offenses. That was massively down to effective blitzes and not being able to run the ball as effectively as they have in previous weeks.

The blueprint is out on the Saints offense. HC Dennis Allen and OC Pete Carmichael Jr need to know that and adjust otherwise, teams will be loading up all season, and there will be plenty more offensive displays like last night.

The Saints Miss Michael Thomas

Many of you are reading this and thinking, well,… obviously.

To some, it wasn’t obvious. There was some thought that this offense would be fine with Chris Olave as the number one WR, and that’s about it, and the receiver position.

To some extent, I could forgive people for thinking that, since Dalton has taken over as the starter, the passing game has been far more effective than we have seen the last two seasons. Alvin Kamara has come to life in the passing game as we would’ve always expected, and the running attack has led the way for the offense.

However, last night it was clear as day why a player like Michael Thomas is so important. When the run game is shut down, and the Saints have to pass, they need someone else who can get open quickly on third downs and in the RedZone to give Dalton a quick outlet to go to when the defense does blitz.

Outside of Olave, that just wasn’t there last night. Marquez Callaway did have one filthy route in the RedZone at the end of the first half that should have been a TD.  Unfortunately, Dalton just flat-out missed him, but that is not a consistent enough occurrence. Callaway then pretty much disappeared for the rest of the game. 

Getting Jarvis Landry back should help a lot. His game meshes much more with the Dalton-led offense than the Jameis Winston offense. Him returning and being effective is no longer a luxury it is essential.

The Defense Still Struggles Against Mobile QBs

If you look at the box score, you may think they didn’t do that badly.

At face value, they didn’t, and with some better tackling, the stats would have looked a lot better. This was an improvement to previous games against QBs with similar rushing ability to Jackson. The issue is this team has to allocate so much attention, concentration, and resources to stopping this part of the team’s offenses that everything else falls by the wayside.

Both safeties blow a coverage because they paid so much respect to Lamar and the rushing attack. One led to the Ravens’ first TD, and the second left a wide-open TE to convert a third and long.

The numbers don’t show it, but Jackson could do whatever he wanted in the passing game. In fact, if he didn’t miss three of four wide-open WRs, the score and the passing game stats would have looked a lot different.

At this point, I don’t what this team can do to fix this issue. It’s been a problem every year, even throughout their dominant run as one of the league’s best defenses. This team is not one of those dominant units. 

I’m starting to wonder if the Saints prototype of massive DEs who win with power rather than speed could be a reason. Where the DEs take a little longer to win, it’s easier for QBs to escape, and even if they do win quickly, it seems easier for the more nimble athletic QBs to escape and make the play when they really shouldn’t be able to.

The Injuries Are Still Piling Up

The hits keep coming to this team. They’ve already played much of the reason without Michael Thomas, Jarvis Landry, and Marshon Lattimore.

Just as you think the Saints are starting to get back to good health, Erik McCoy, Pete Werner, and Marcus Davenport left last night’s game with injuries.

Losing any of these players for extended periods would be brutal for this team. All three are crucial to the team’s success. 

McCoy is the anchor of the o-line, which, as we’ve already discussed, is crucial to this team’s effectiveness. It also means a lot of juggling on the line. Cesar Ruiz would move to Center, where he did play in college, but Ruiz’s improvement at RG this season has been so good the team could really do without moving him. Then to replace Ruiz, the Saints have Calvin Throckmorton, who played well with limited expectations last season but has struggled so far in limited snaps this year.

Pete Werner has been playing at an all-pro level so far this season, and the team’s depth behind him is shaky at best. They’d be forced to play Kaden Ellis more, who’s done well so far this season in a very specific role. How he’d do with a more expansive role remains to be seen.

Although Marcus Davenport’s sack numbers have not been there so far this season, he’s still leading the team in pressures. Losing him would be a real hit to an already limited pass rush. Similar to the point made about Werner, the team’s depth is fairly shaky begins Davenport as well. Payton Turner has shown some improvements in the last two games. Again how he would do with more responsibilities as the team’s main, base DE remains to be seen.

Either way, these are questions this team could really do without. The margin for error is already so small with this team. Add to that three key starters not being available, it only gets smaller.

Conclusion

There are no more if, and’s, or buts. This team is what their record says it is a 3-6 football team with more questions than answers. Somehow, they are only one game back from the lead in the putrid NFC South.

There’s still a path for the team to make the playoffs, but it is wafer thin, they need to win all the games they should ( and there are not many at this stage) and win a couple on paper they shouldn’t, and even that might not be enough.

It has to start next week against the similarly dysfunctional Pittsburgh Steelers and go from there. Either way, Saints fans, protect yourselves. Temper expectations, enjoy the highs whenever they come, and take the lows for what they should be at this point. Expected.

For more Saints articles- https://www.full10yards.co.uk/saints/ 

Please let me know your feedback on this article and the others throughout the season. I’m always looking to improve and add things that people want to read about!

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5 things to look out for in Week 9

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Week 9 sees three huge matchups in the AFC playoff race and two NFC teams looking for a lifeline

1. Newly-boosted Miami Dolphins travel to Chicago to face the Bears

The Dolphins went all in on Tuesday, trading a first-round pick for edge-rusher Bradley Chubb, putting them right up there with the best in the AFC.

Chicago were active too, first losing Roquan Smith to the Ravens for a 2nd, but then flipping another 2nd to Pittsburgh for Chase Claypool, giving Justin Fields another weapon.

Luke Getsy’s Bears offense run the ball over 50% of the time, will they be successful against the league’s sixth-best run defense?

2. Buffalo Bills and New York Jets face off in key AFC East matchup

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PFF’s #1 ranked offense (Bills), faces off against the #1 defense that the New York Jets possess, expect them to cause Josh Allen problems.

New York’s offensive line is really banged-up, look for Von Miller, Ed Oliver and co to feast.

A win for the Jets will see them hold the tiebreaker over not only the Buffalo Bills but also the Miami Dolphins, setting up a spicy end to the AFC East.

3. Arizona Cardinals are in need of a win vs Seattle Seahawks

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Arizona scored over 25 points once whilst DeAndre Hopkins was suspended, in the two games since he came back, they’ve done it twice.

Seattle were 19-9 winners when these two sides met in Week 6, Pete Caroll’s team have won the past two against Kliff Kingsbury’s Cardinals

With two of the worst defenses in the NFL statistically, this one, as most Seahawks games have been this year, could be a shootout.

4. Two pre-season NFC favourites looking for mid-season lifeline

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Who would’ve thought before the season started that both the Los Angeles Rams and Tampa Bay Buccaneers would have losing records in their Week 9 meeting?

Both teams, who have plenty of talent offensively, have only scored more than 25 points once all season.

This one could be a sack fest as two of the NFL’s best defensive lines are up against two poor pass-protection units.

5. Arrowhead hosts the 2020 AFC Championship Game rematch on SNF

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Two of the league’s most in-form teams in the Kansas City Chiefs, and Tennessee Titans, battle it out to end the ninth NFL Sunday of the season.

This one sees an interesting battle between the Tennessee offense that runs the ball 52.1% of the time, and the Chiefs’ third-ranked rushing defense.

A win for either side will be very important when it comes to playoff seeding, because right now they both sit 5-2 and lead their respective divisions.

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5 things to look out for in Week 8

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Week 8 sees Josh Allen and Aaron Rodgers meet on SNF, and the Jacksonville Jaguars return to London

1. Russell Wilson will start for the Broncos against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley

Denver Broncos QB Russell Wilson is good to go on Sunday in London, after missing last week’s home game against the New York Jets with a hamstring injury.

Both the Broncos and the Jaguars are 2-5 but aren’t out of the playoff hunt just yet, one win may be the catapult needed to make a late push.

The Wilson-less Broncos were second-best in Sunday’s loss, whilst Jacksonville fell short in a close game at home to the Giants.

2. The New York Jets – New England Patriots rivalry is back!

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For the first time in years, the Jets-Patriots rivalry is meaningful, 2022 is the first time since 2001 that the Jets have had more wins than their rivals over in Boston at this point in the season.

New England has got a QB competition on its hands after Bailey Zappe’s impressive play whilst Mac Jones was injured, the latter is expected to start again, but don’t be surprised to see the former when things are going south, like on Monday night.

All signs are pointing towards a tight, low-scoring affair, exactly as the in-form Jets like it, their defense has been one of the best in the league so far this season.

3. Reigning Super Bowl Champions looking to get right against a division rival

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Sean McVay’s Los Angeles Rams come back from their bye at 3-3 but are in desperate need of a win against the 49ers if they want to be crowned NFC West champions, for the second season running.

The 49ers currently hold the tie-breaker over the Rams having already beaten them this season back in Week 4, if they drop another loss in this one it may come back to bite them in a tight division race.

Kyle Shanahan has beaten McVay’s Rams in eight of the twelve meetings since both became head coaches in 2017, last year the Rams were swept by the Niners, but won in the NFC Championship game.

4. Will Geno continue his outstanding season against the 6-1 Giants?

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Every single New York Giants game has finished within one score this year, expect that to continue as they visit the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday.

Both Geno Smith (SEA), and Daniel Jones (NYG), have been impressive so far this season, especially when helped out by both teams’ efficient rushing attacks, being two of the best teams to watch in the NFC.

Two top 10 picks in the 2022 NFL Draft will collide in this game as Kayvon Thibodeaux and Charles Cross battle in the trenches.

5. Josh Allen and Aaron Rodgers meet on SNF

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Sunday Night Football sees the 3-4 Green Bay Packers travel to Orchard Park to play the 5-1 Buffalo Bills.

It’s not looking pretty in Green Bay now that the Packers have lost three straight for the first time since 2018.

Buffalo are fresh and were on a three-game win streak before their bye, the most impressive victory was their last, beating the Chiefs at Arrowhead.

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5 things to look out for in Week 7

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Tua Tagovailoa’s return to action on SNF against his former Head Coach Brian Flores is the highlight of Week 7

1. Will the Baltimore Ravens throw away another game in the fourth quarter?

Baltimore has now lost three close games in the fourth quarter, with last week’s collapse against the Giants with the ball in Lamar Jackson’s hands perhaps being the worst.

They’ve got a big chance to get right when they welcome the 2-5 Cleveland Browns on Sunday, a team who are fighting to stay alive in the race for the AFC North

One thing we do know is it’ll be tight, all of the Ravens home games have been decided by three points or less this year, with them only being victorious once.

2. In form Colts in need of a win as they face off with the Tennessee Titans in key AFC South duel.

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The Indianapolis Colts are welcomed by the Titans for the second of their two annual matchups, this one may well decide the AFC South.

Tennessee got out to an early lead in their Week 4 fixture, managing to hold on for a 24-17 victory after a late Indy comeback, meaning the Colts need to respond to prevent Mike Vrabel’s team from having a tiebreaker.

Matt Ryan had one hell of a game against Jacksonville last week, his Colts offense are now starting to find a groove but a loss here would put them at a real disadvantage of winning the division.

3. Russell Wilson out with a hamstring injury, Brett Rypien will start against the New York Jets

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Nathaniel Hackett’s Denver Broncos’ start to the season is getting worse by the day, as Russell Wilson is now set to miss Sunday’s game at home to the Jets with the hamstring injury he sustained on MNF.

The two top defenses are the stars of the show, as both the Broncos and the Jets defenses are within the top 10 of the league according to PFF (Denver 5th, New York 8th.)

Robert Saleh’s Jets are one of the hottest teams in football right now after back to back wins over the Dolphins and Packers.

4. CMC returns to Southern California as a San Fransisco 49er

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Christian McCaffrey should suit up for his first game in gold and red after he was acquired via a trade from the Carolina Panthers on Thursday night, he’ll be a big boost for a 49ers team that looked off the pace in Atlanta last week.

A second, third, and a fourth round pick is a steep price for the ex-Stanford running back who can’t stay on the field, but if he can stay healthy he’s a real asset and may be the piece San Francisco need to win a championship.

Their opponents, the Kansas City Chiefs, are on the back of a tight loss to Buffalo at Arrowhead where their defense did well to limit Josh Allen and co to only 24 points.

5. Flores and Tua meet again as the Miami Dolphins host the Pittsburgh Steelers on SNF

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Tua Tagovailoa makes his return to the football field for the first time since he left the game in Cincinnati with a horrific concussion, since then his Dolphins have moved from 3-0 to 3-3.

The third year quarterback has his former head coach Brian Flores on the opposite sideline, it’s not secret that they didn’t get on so he’ll be out for revenge.

Mike Tomlin and Flores’ defense stepped up in their win over Tampa Bay on Sunday, the Pittsburgh defensive line against the Miami offensive line should be a great battle, especially with Terron Armstead looking good to go. 

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5 things to look out for in Week 6

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Buffalo Bills, Kansas City Chiefs rematch and NFC East nail-biter standout in stacked Week 6 slate

1. Ravens travel to the big apple to play in-form Giants

The 4-1 New York Giants pulled off an impressive comeback win over the Packers in London last week, after Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley came in clutch and Wink Martindale’s defense stepped up to shut down Rodgers and co when needed. 

Lamar Jackson’s Baltimore Ravens are in town and are hitting form at the right time, having just taken the lead of the AFC North after beating their divisional rival Bengals.

Contrary to their first two home games, the defense was able to eliminate big plays, more of that on Sunday will go a long way towards finding the consistency needed to contend in January.

2. Minnesota Vikings in Miami to play banged up Dolphins

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It’s perhaps the perfect time for Minnesota to play Mike McDaniel’s Dolphins, who could be missing multiple starters.

7th round rookie QB Skylar Thompson will make his first start for the Fins, after Teddy Bridgewater joined Tua Tagovailoa in concussion protocol this week, whilst Terron Armstead and Raheem Mostert are questionable and Austin Jackson and Byron Jones remain on IR.

The Vikings are looking hot right now, having won three close games in a row, righting last years wrongs as the team that lost the most games by one score in 2021.

3. Two LSU legends return to the state to face the New Orleans Saints

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LSU Tigers legends Joe Burrow and Jamarr Chase return to Louisiana on Sunday as their Cincinnati Bengals play the Saints at the Caesars Superdome, the very stadium where the Tigers became national champions.

New Orleans’ defensive line will be a tough test for a Bengals pass protection unit that has looked better in recent games, a great time to see where they’re at.

It’ll be intriguing to see what Dennis Allen does with Marshon Lattimore, will he shadow Chase, like he did Jefferson in London, or cover one of Higgins and Boyd, with the superstar WR being double covered. 

4. Chiefs and Bills back to play in rematch of the greatest playoff game

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The Kansas City Chiefs welcome the Buffalo Bills to Arrowhead in the rematch of the 2021 Divisional Round game, potentially the greatest contest we’ve ever seen.

Buffalo beefed up their pass-rush with Von Miller to get to Patrick Mahomes this year, whilst the home team used the cap space left after trading Tyreek to upgrade their own defense, one that needs to contain Josh Allen.

This one could be the game of the year, certainly the game of the week, why wouldn’t it be when it features the two most complete teams in the league, it’s a shame they can’t meet in the Super Bowl.

5. Cooper Rush’s Dallas Cowboys out to give rival Philadelphia Eagles their first loss

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In what could be Dallas’ final game without Dak Prescott they have a chance to go 5-1 and end their bitter rivals unbeaten start.

NBC has what may turn out to be one of the better primetime games we’ve seen this year, who would’ve thought that when the Cowboys were forced to turn to their backup QB.

With Micah Parsons good to go, Dallas has certainly got the defense to hamper Jalen Hurts and co, he’s turning into one of the best players in the whole league.