If someone can tell me how the Ravens won on Thursday against the Steelers, I will pay you in Trident gum (Sugar free, no less.).
The introductory sentence above seems more interesting than both Sunday and Monday Night matchups have combined. One day, this may have looked good on paper, but that’s not the case right now. With that being said, I preview Dallas vs. New Orleans, and Detroit vs. Seattle
Sunday Night Preview: A Display of Primetime Dominance Coming To An End?
Normally, this would be a great matchup, but the Cowboys are without their 2 best players in Tony Romo and Dez Bryant, and the Saints haven’t exactly been the offense the league has feared since 2006 to start the season, only scoring 20 points per game (tied with the Vikings for 19th).
More importantly, the Saints are back at home against the Cowboys. The last time these 2 met in New Orleans, Drew Brees and company destroyed Dallas 49-17 (also on Sunday Night Football). Last year was different, as the Cowboys took revenge and demolished the Saints 38-17 at home (again, on Sunday Night Football)
Speaking of Brees and the Saints, they’ve been historically dominant at home on the late night stage. Take a look below at the numbers.
That’s right: The Baltimore Ravens are the only team to beat the Saints at home on primetime since 2011. This at whole is a testament to the excitement of the Saints offense and #9’s future Hall of Fame career.
But much like Drew Brees’ hairline, the New Orleans Saints’ chances of continuing to dominate at home may be receding. The team has started off at 0-3, the defense is off to another terrible start, and the offensive unit doesn’t look so scary anymore. Jimmy Graham hasn’t exactly being doing the work of the lord in Seattle (Russell Wilson and his Recovery Water may change that), but his presence as a receiving tight end is missed.
On the other hand, the Dallas Cowboys are without their #1 WR and starting QB. Old Man Brandon Weeden played just ok last week, and the expectation is that he’s on a short leash. Joseph Randle played an excellent first half against the Falcons, but the run blocking stumbled his production in the 2nd. The Front 7/OL matchup favors Dallas, but how well can they execute this time?
Don’t even get me started on the defense; On the road, at the Superdome. However, with concerns over Drew Brees’ arm strength, accuracy, and velocity lurking about, I’m less confident in saying this game will be a blowout. Luke McCown played surprisingly effective against the Panthers, and I say surprising because he’s the brother of a quarterback that steals the souls of NFL teams everywhere. Has Brees’ time, as well as the Saints’ dominance in primetime, come to an end?
Perhaps Pope Francis should bless this sick team, but I feel as though the Saints will pull this one off, especially without Dez and Romo.
Monday Night Preview: Detroit On The Brink Of Elimination?
This is game that looked meh on paper, but now as the season has progressed, it looks awful.
The Detroit Lions and Seattle Seahawks have 2 of the worst offensive lines in the league (which says a lot, because it seems as if every offensive line sucks in 2015), and the offenses are finally succumbing to these diseased plagues. Matthew Stafford is getting hit on the run more than the civilians of a Grand Theft Auto video game, and the same can be said for Russell Wilson.
Wilson will probably tell you that God blessed the 0-2 Seahawks by having them play the Chicago Bears, allowing them to travel to the promised land of 1-2. On the other hand, the Lions are 0-3, something they have not done since 2010, where they started 0-4. After clinching a Wild Card berth last year, this 2015 Detroit roster is in danger of becoming 0-4 and out of the playoff picture.
This start would frustrate anyone in Detroit, except Jim Caldwell, who expresses the same look whenever he’s happy, sad, angry, confused, irritated, paranoid, surprised, disgusted, and scared.
I rest my case.
It’s been 7 years and we’re not getting anything more than “Please just choose a QB tier and stay there” from the inconsistent Matthew Stafford, but this offensive line isn’t helping causes. The run game is being given zero breathing air, and the defense is not the same as it was a year ago. To top it all off, DeAndre Levy is doubtful to play on Monday.
Seattle has problems of it’s own; bad OL, Marshawn Lynch struggling due to the “run blocking”, Pete Carroll forgetting he has Jimmy Graham, and 90s’ grunge getting older by the 2nd. That said, I like the Seahawks to win, with the home field advantage giving them the edge.
(Stats via espn.com and pro-football-reference.com. Jim Caldwell photo via forwardpassthinking.com)