Saints clinch playoff spot on Thanksgiving
With more football games being scheduled on Thanksgiving than on a normal Thursday, NFL fans were treated to three important games last night.
There was plenty on the line, with Week 13 bringing the opportunity for some teams to clinch a playoff spot already.
The New Orleans Saints were the first to guarantee their progress, and they will likely see more sides join them over the rest of Week 13.
With the Saints 10-2 up for the season, they deserve their spot, and they have been remarkably consistent compared to recent years.
Having suffered one of their only losses against the Atlanta Falcons during this campaign, it was an opportune moment to get revenge.
The 26-18 result was not a rollover by any stretch, and there is plenty of room for improvement in a Saints side that are still fumbling on occasions, something that could easily be punished by a side with a little more emphasis on being faster to the ball.
At this rate, the Saints are unlikely to take one of the higher seedings even if they have been one of the first to qualify, though next week’s big clash against the San Francisco 49ers will provide a better indication of the proceedings for January and February for both sides, with the Saints at home in a huge match.
As for the Falcons, they opted to leave out their best player, Julio Jones, as the receiver nursed a shoulder injury.
They are 3-9 down for the season and the postseason is beyond them, so making sure that he is fit and firing this time next year is important – they will need him.
The Buffalo Bills carried on their recent good stretch and are now 9-3, thanks to a 26-15 turnover against the Dallas Cowboys.
The Bills have not beaten any of the best sides so far, but defeating the Cowboys on Thanksgiving probably counts.
Seven of their previous wins had all come against teams with losing records, but now they have added one to the list to leave Dallas in trouble at 6-6.
Buffalo have 10 days to get ready for their fixture against the Baltimore Ravens, which will be big for both sides for different reasons.
For Dallas, they are listing with Jason Garrett in charge, but with only four games of the season left, it is unlikely that a coaching change will do much.
They have lost six in nine, but they are still top of the NFC East.
Words: Luke Donovan