The Black and Gold are finally at .500 with a record of 4-4. This is surely a measurement of their character and fortitude of this 2016 team. Now it’s time to look forward. There are five games that the Saints must find a way to win at least three of those. The matchups are ranked from least important to the most.
Don’t be fooled by the Denver Bronco’s last five games. They have lost the last three of five and are no doubt showing some invincibility after a 4-0 start. The Broncos still have LB Von Miller along with their stout defense. They come in at 6-3 and are looking to get back on track this Sunday.
This is a big game, because the game will represent the first in starting the second half of the season. It will be interesting to see if the Saints will remain loyal to the running game with a dose of Hightower and Ingram. Denver’s defense is ten times better than the 49ers, so yards will be a lot tougher to get. Look for a low scoring game. Since the Broncos are in the AFC, this game isn’t as critical as some of the others. That being said, a win would surely help boost the Saints’ confidence.
The Arizona Cardinals were my pick before the season to make it to the Super Bowl. This team is still very dangerous. The Saints will play the Cardinals in the third to last game. This stretch of games will be extremely tough, as the Saints will finish the season with three road games out of the last four.
The Cardinals may only be 3-4-1 at the moment, but their defense is 4th in scoring defense and 1st against total yards. Look for the Cardinals to be in the mix for the playoffs come December. And if the Saints are looking for a Wild Card spot, they’ll need to pull this one off in case of a tiebreaker.
NEW ORLEANS, LA – OCTOBER 16: Head coach Ron Rivera of the Carolina Panthers looks on as his team takes on the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on October 16, 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
The Saints will travel to the Carolina Panthers on a Thursday night game after they play the Broncos. The Saints won in dramatic fashion earlier in week six on a last second 52 yard field goal by Wil Lutz. The Saints and Panthers are both riding a two game win streak, and both have started off slow. Now the Panthers find themselves at 3-5 after starting 1-5. Both teams know each other well. Look for another shootout. This game will be critical as it’s a division game. Saints will want this victory very badly. The NFC South is still up in the air, and if the Saints can win this anything is possible.
21 December 2015: Detroit Lions Running Back Ameer Abdullah (21) jumps over New Orleans Saints Cornerback Brandon Browner (39) at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, LA. (Photo by Tyler Kaufman/Icon Sportswire) (Photo by Tyler Kaufman/Icon Sportswire/Corbis via Getty Images)
Some people may be a bit surprised to see this game as the second most important. However, The Detroit Lions are sitting on the edge of the playoff contenders. Guess who’s next? Amazingly enough, it’s the New Orleans Saints. If the Saints don’t win the division this game could have huge playoff implications. Furthermore, the game is the last home game before the Saints go on the road for the next three of four. A lot can change in three weeks, but regardless the Saints need to take care of business at home here.
26 September 2016: New Orleans Saints Defensive End Kasim Edebali (91) reaches for Atlanta Falcons Quarterback Matt Ryan (2) at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, LA. (Photo by Tyler Kaufman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
It’s no accident that the NFL have set up the Saints to play the Atlanta Falcons in the last game of the season. Add in New Year’s Day, and you’ve got another possible winner take all scenario. The Falcons are in first place in the NFC South and have been playing very well this season. Who Dat Nation can only hope the division will be still available. Regardless, the Saints could be still be vying for a Wild Card berth which puts this game as the most important. Once again expect this one to come down to the wire.