Similar to how I posted my picks for tomorrow night's game between the Colts and Jaguars early, I figured I'd post my prediction for Saturday night's game between the Saints and Cowboys as well.
In case you're wondering, the NFL made this schedule a long time ago. It's only a coincidence that both the Colts and Saints are 13-0 right now and making a run at history.
On to the game.
The Cowboys have dropped their last two games, at New York Giants and home to the Chargers, in close fashion. Though the media has made a big deal about Dallas starting December off 0-2, little attention has been given to how close the Cowboys have come to being 2-0.
Meanwhile, the Saints are 2-0 so far in December, with very close victories over the Redskins and Falcons, two below average teams. It take overtime and a referee's challenge for the Saints to beat the Redskins, and a Matt Ryan/Michael Turner-less Falcons were down a field goal inside the two minute warning.
Could this be the week where the Saints fortune finally runs out and the Cowboys finally catch a break?
Not so fast.
A quick look at the Saints 2009 schedule shows a team that beat the Eagles 48-22, the Giants 48-27, the Dolphins 46-34, and the Patriots 38-17. Those are the playoff teams on their schedule. The same schedule shows the Saints having close ones; 28-23 over the Rams, and the two aforementioned road wins against the Falcons and the Redskins.
In other words, the 2009 Saints have stepped up in the big games, and played down to inferior teams. In other words, the Saints play to their opponent.
Does this mean that the Saints are going to lose? After all, that would be playing to the Cowboys level in December, wouldn't it?
The Saints are going to win this game. They're at home, home field is still up for grabs in the NFC playoffs, and the Cowboys are going to have a tough time putting any pressure on Drew Brees (if DeMarcus Ware isn't ready to go).
Unfortunately for the Cowboys, that means they're a Giants win at Washington on Sunday away from falling to #7 in the NFC playoff depth chart. A.K.A they'll need help.
It's going to be a crazy three weeks.
I'm taking the Saints at Home.