Before the Pittsburgh Steelers could put the "o" in November for the Saints - as in 0 for the month - the Saints became the latest underdog to upset them.
The Steelers lost to the 4 and 7 saints. They had already lost to Tampa, who was 0 and 3 at the time, and the jets, who were 1 and 8 when they met. Three losses to three underdogs with a cumulative record of 5 and 18 when the Steelers met them.
The Jets and the Bucs gained little traction from those upsets. How about the Saints? Yesterday's win was far from a fluke. Confidence and concern change weekly for all but the very best and the very worst of which the Saints are neither. But after their performance yesterday, pushed to the back burner for a week at least are: HC-DC animosity, inability to run the ball, stop the run, quarterback arm strength, turnovers and takeaways.
Now as they welcome the Panthers - losers of six in a row this Sunday - we can look ahead while the Saints fight the urge to do so. It's the Panthers and then the Bears in Chicago on Monday night for the Saints. For the Falcons it's at Green Bay a week from tonight and then hosting the Steelers.
As the season makes the turn for home, the Saints and Falcons are neck-and-neck at the top of the stretch, the Panthers are fading badly at the turn, and the Bucs are broken down back by the paddock. It's very possible that the Saints could host the Falcons on Dec. 21 with the opportunity to clinch the division championship with a victory.
That might be one more request to add to your wish list for Christmas five days later. In all likelihood, the NFC South title will come down to the Saints and Falcons as so many expected in the kind of season for each that no one did.
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