Monday, October 27, 2014

Revised Saints prediction, part V

8-8 or even 9-7 

(Last week: 5-11)

I know, I'm hedging here and perhaps am reading too much into the Saints playing a stellar game at home in prime time, which is just a thing they do.

But it's hard to ignore that they beat the Packers, a team not without its issues but still one of the best in the league. The Saints were solid in all aspects, especially in the second half, and the boisterous home crowd can only claim credit for so much of that. Maybe.

The difference in this game from all others this season is that the Saints looked truly inspired. Even in their other home wins this year, they seemed to be just hanging on. But this was a capital-W Win, looking like it wandered in from 2009 or 2011. Those teams knew how to win on the road, so it offers a glimmer of hope that this bipolar team might figure it out too.

A scant three days from now, the Saints hit the road to play the Panthers, with the division lead (!!) at stake. I don't doubt New Orleans could top Carolina easily at home on Sunday or Monday, but a road win on so little sleep is something they'll have to show they are capable of doing. If they can, I see them running (limping?) away with the division at 9-7. If not, they're going to continue to be the local darlings and road worriers at 8-8 (which still might win the putrid garbage pile that is the NFC South).

Either way, yesterday's game marks an apparent improvement in mojo that has me thinking the home stands could continue after all. The rest remains to be seen.

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