New Orleans Saints versus Los Angeles Rams will provide an optimum window into each team. The teams are vying for the 3rd and 4th seeds in the NFC playoff picture. The following are my impressions from watching the Rams games heretofore.
These thoughts should be considered in light of the fact that defensive end Alex Okafor (out for season), cornerback Marshon Lattimore, and cornerback Ken Crawley will not be in the game for the Saints.
There is gnashing of teeth in Seattle. There is pulling hair and screaming at TV announcers. When did Jon Gruden start sounding so condescending? Was it the first turnover by quarterback Russell Wilson? Or was it the first questionable call that head coach Pete Carroll called on a fake field goal? We had every chance to win this game, and somehow we came up short. Literally.
The New Orleans Saints will face the Washington Redskins this Sunday. It can be argued as their first matchup against a good quarterback who is not suffering with an injury since Tom Brady. They faced Cam Newton and Jameis Winston both of whom were working through shoulder problems, and a banged up Matthew Stafford.
This could be their toughest test during their current winning streak. The Washington Redskins will be without running back Robert Kelley, defensive back DeAngelo Hall, and possibly wide receiver Ryan Grant.
Near the end of the Buffalo Bills’ humiliating 47-10 loss to the New Orleans Saints, a streaker, with literally nothing except copious amounts of alcohol to protect him from the 47 degree temperatures, jumped out onto the field. The completely naked man, later identified as Tristan Lambright, 29, managed to run free for more than 70 yards before he was subdued by security.
Needless to say, the faithful fans who stayed to the bitter end of the game were delighted with this spectacle. They cheered loudly as Lambright sprinted to the end zone, accomplishing something that the Bills’ offense failed to do all day. Twitter exploded with fans’ observations that Lambright had a longer run from scrimmage than either running back LeSean McCoy or quarterback Tyrod Taylor had managed all season.
Some fans, not completely kidding, urged Bills general manager Brandon Beane to sign Lambright to the team. There were also suggestions that Beane sign the security personnel as they, unlike the Bills defense, actually managed to tackle a runner.
The Chicago Bears were ready to take on the New Orleans Saints in an attempt to make it three wins in a row. The Bears defense was doing its best to give the offense a chance to make things happen. Even though the Saints were up by 11, a touchdown here would have made it a 4 – point game. Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky is staring at an all-out blitz coming his way with four seconds left to throw the ball. He sees his favorite target, tight end Zach Miller in the end zone and he chucks the rock 65 yards.
The ball sails through the air, as Bears fans hold their breath in anticipation of the catch they know Miller will make. Miller leaps up to catch it and it is at that moment, the unimaginable happens. While in the air, Miller wraps his hands around the ball, but as soon as his foot touches the ground, his knee snaps.
Week 7 was full of surprises, and I still ended up picking 10 games correctly. Week 8 is likely to be a bit more predictable, but if the trend of 2017 being weird continues, we could all be shocked by some of the outcomes. I’m a bit late getting my column written, so for now, I’m posting my picks for the first six games of the week. I’ll update this a bit later with the remaining games. Here’s to Week 8!
Miami Dolphins (4-2) @ Baltimore Ravens (3-4)
Thursday Night Football pits the 31st ranked offense and 18th ranked defense of the Ravens against the 32nd ranked offense and 10th ranked defense of the Dolphins. With rankings like those, it’s pretty clear this game will be decided by the defense that plays the most complete game.
Sunday’s game was the highly anticipated rematch of Super Bowl LI’s Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots, to be held at Gillette Stadium.
Everyone has always assumed that the lighthouse and fog horn were just there for ambiance, but on Sunday night they might have actually proved helpful. The fog rolled into Foxborough and clouded visibility from the NBC cameras and coaches up in the booth as well as some fans, but it didn’t seem to bother the Patriots. They scored another win bringing their record to 5-2 and finally dominated their visiting opponent the way they’ve been expected to all season.
With a final score of 23-7, the Patriots sent the Falcons home without the win they had been vying for after losing the Super Bowl to New England in overtime last February.
The Chicago Bears locker room must have been electric. Players who were told they were finished rose up to the challenge and balled out better than they had in years. Coaches who wondered if this team would ever win were finally seeing progress in themselves and the players. A change swept through the air and it started with the swagger of a pretty boy assassin.
Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky came in against the Baltimore Ravens with one goal in mind: win at every cost. And with the help of a defense that resembles that of the monsters they once were, last Sunday’s win is just the tip of the iceberg.
But, can the Bears make it two wins in a row, especially against a tough Carolina Panthers defense? Well, according toNFL.com, the Panthers are 4th in defensive power with the Bears a few notches below, ranked 6th in the league. This could very well be a defense-driven game, but it all rests on how well the rookie can connect with his receivers, and how well the defense can expose quarterback Cam “Superman”Newton’s weaknesses.
The 2017 NFL season has been full of surprises. Teams that we all expected to be garbage have pulled off some astounding wins, while teams that we expected to roll over most of their opponents have faltered in losses to much weaker opponents. Pick’em pools have been torn to shreds, and some survivor leagues have already crowned their winner.
Each week, I’ll post my picks and my reasoning behind them, and on Tuesdays, I’ll do a quick rundown on where I went wrong, and what I got right. I’d love to hear your thoughts on my predictions, so feel free to drop a comment on the post, or @ me on Twitter.