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Deke Bellavia

Join Deke and the Cajun Cannon Bobby Hebert for live, local talk about the Saints, LSU, Pelicans and much more on "Sports Talk!" 

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Twitter: @dekebigchief

Saints vs Eagles: Deke thinks Philadelphia wins a tight one!

Sunday October 11, 2015
Noon Kickoff Lincoln Financial Field

Series History: The Saints and Eagles have met 29 times. The two clubs have squared off 26 times in regular season matchups, and the two have played in three playoff games. The Eagles lead the regular season series 15-11, with the Saints owning a 2-1 mark in the post season.

Team Records: Both New Orleans and Philadelphia are 1-3 through four games this season.

Last week's results: New Orleans beat Dallas 26-20 in OT, and Washington beat Philadelphia 23-20.


The Saints have done well against the Eagles as of late. In the last six meetings the Saints are 5-1 against the Eagles. Prior to that solid Black and Gold stretch, the Eagles had won six straight games in the series.

The Eagles

The Eagles certainly have their own issues, as all teams that are off to a 1-3 start would. Their offense has struggled, and that is supposed to be their strong suit.

Currently the Eagles rank 29th in total offense, including 30th in rushing offense. Philadelphia is averaging only 70 yards rushing per game through four games this season, and the Eagles are scoring just 19 points per game.
The Eagles problems (according to media that cover the team) start along their O-line.

Philadelphia has been beat down in the media for their lack of offensive production. Even with all of their own issues to deal with, however, the Eagles are only seven points away from being a 3-1 team. Instead Philly sits at 1-3.

The Eagles dropped their first game of the season 26-24 to Atlanta, Dallas handed the Eagles their worst loss of the season in a 20-10 win for the Cowboys. The NY Jets were a TD better beating the Eagles 24-17 and last week the Redskins edged Philly 23-20.

I think!

The Eagles will try and get their ground game on track this week against the Saints. With a trio of quality RB's that features Demarco Murray, Ryan Matthews and Darren Sproles, Philly can hit their opponents with a bevy of play makers when it comes to carrying the football.

QB Sam Bradford is coming off his best outing of the season as he tossed three TD's last week against the Redskins. Prior to that game Bradford had thrown only 3 TD's with four interceptions.

The Eagles Defense is allowing 23 points per game and they are not bad defending the run allowing only yards per 97 yards per game which is 13th in the NFL.

And of course the team that wins the battle of turnovers will more than likely win the game. The Eagles are plus +1 on the season (tied for 13th) while the Saints are minus -3 which is 22nd in the league.

In a game that features two desperate teams, this game could come down to special teams and that could mean trouble for the Black and Gold. New Orleans is struggling kicking the football and now the reliable Thomas Morstead is ailing.

And I hate to be the one that reminds you all but that little guy who returns kicks for the Eagles could very well bite us in the you know what this week. The Eagles are a five point favorite over the Saints. I think the game will be close and I like the points. But I don't like the Saints to win. Simply put, to me the Saints are who they are and one win does not mask that this is a team with no identity and I think it's still to soon to label this team as one that is in transition or one that is making one final run or if they are on their way to being done!

If New Orleans wins their next two games I'll have strong hope. But I don't expect that to happen. Philadelphia 27 New Orleans 24
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Deke's NFL Top Ten, week five

Here's my Top Ten teams in the NFL for week five!

1. New England Patriots (3-0) – They are well rested and now head to Big D to take on a hurt Cowboys Team. Don't look now, but that other team from New York looks like the most serious contender in the East this season. "Looks like" I said! Last week BYE / this week @ Dallas.

2. Green Bay Packers (4-0) – They are proving that they can play with anyone on offense and their defense is slowing round into shape. For the third time this season the Packers take on a foe from the NFC West. Can they out play the Rams physically? I'm betting on Aaron! Last week beat San Francisco 17-3 / this week vs St. Louis.

3. Denver Broncos (4-0) – Denver is proving that less of Peyton is more of Denver being a complete team. This Denver defense is as good as any in the NFL and I think this may be the best Denver team since Peyton has been in White Horse Land. Last week beat Minnesota 23-20/this week @ Oakland.

4. Cincinnati Bengals (4-0) – These Cats from the Midwest are off to a hot start and can now become more legit with a win over the Seabirds. Cincy looks like a complete team that is only lacking that post season production. Is this the year they get it? Last week beat Kansas City 36-21 / this week vs Seattle.

5. Atlanta Falcons (4-0) – The Falcons are for real. This team is a lock for the playoffs and now the ATL is in position to battle the Packers and Panthers for the top two seeds this post season. Julio Jones is the best player in the game (along with Aaron Rodgers) and the Falcons defense is a difference maker! Last week beat Houston 48-21 / this week vs Washington.

6. Carolina Panthers (4-0) – Hey they don't win pretty, but they all count the same way. The Cats from Carolina have a stingy defense, a good rushing attack and they have Cam the man! A playoff team for sure this season. Last week beat Tampa Bay 37-23 / this week BYE.

7. Arizona Cardinals (3-1) – Now really, did anyone think the Red Birds would go 16-0? They'll be hard pressed to win the NFC West! Last week lost to St. Louis 24-22 / this week @ Detroit.

8. Seattle Seahawks (2-2) – I still think they are going to win the NFC West and no one, and I mean no one, wants to see this team in the post season! A preview of the next Super Bowl this Sunday? Last week beat Detroit 13-10/ this week @ Cincinnati.

9. New York Jets (3-1) – QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, RB Chris Ivory and WR Brandon Marshall are a legit triple threat on offense and the Jets defense is as good as any. I think this is going to be a sound playoff team this January. Last week beat 27-14/ this week BYE.

10. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-2) - The Steelers kicked off the weekend missing a FG that cost them the game against the Ravens. One has to wonder can QB Mike Vick keep the Steelers in the AFC North Title hunt while the other #7 is out of action? Last week lost to Baltimore 23-20 / this week @ San Diego.
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Deke's SEC rankings, week six

Here are my rankings as we go into another week of great SEC football!

1. Alabama (4-1) - RTR! The most impressive win this season by any team in any conference thus far. Don't call them out until they are out! Last week beat Georgia 38-10 / this week vs Arkansas

2. LSU (4-0) - Every team plays badly sometimes. LSU knows there is one hurdle in October (Florida )and three in November with Alabama, Ole Miss and A&M. Long way to go. Last week beat Eastern Michigan 44-22 /this week @ South Carolina

3. Florida (5-0) - Welcome to the SEC Title race, UF! These Gators bite hard on defense, they can run the football well and they are getting better each week. Two tough road games this week and next will give us a better sign if these Gators are for real. Last week beat Ole Miss 38-10 / this week @ Missouri

4. Ole Miss (4-1) - I told y'all Ole Miss would lose a game. And I'm telling y'all Ole Miss will lose again. It's not that hard to predict! Last week lost to Florida 10-38 / this week vs New Mexico State.

5. Texas A&M (5-0) - The Aggies defense is better and now A&M has a week off before the Tide come to College Station. Win that one and then I'll believe you're real! Last week beat Mississippi State 30-17 / this week BYE

6. Georgia (4-1) - Did y'all really think UGA was ready to take on Alabama? HELL NO! Hey, Georgia is good but Alabama is on a different level. Last week lost to Alabama 10-38 / this week @ Tennessee.

7. Kentucky (4-1) - The Wildcats got a scare from Eastern Kentucky last week. Now the Wildcats are off before Auburn comes to town. A bowl bid will happen, but a being a threat in the East is a bit of a stretch. Last week beat EKU 34-27 / this week BYE.

8. Missouri (4-1) - The Tigers beat up South Carolina 24-10 and can now prove that they will not give up their East title without a fight. Last week beat SC 24-10 / this week vs Florida.

9. Arkansas (2-3) - They inked one out against the Vols and now head to T-Town to battle the Tide. Uh oh! Last week beat Tennessee 24-20 / this week @ Alabama.

10. Mississippi State (3-2) - A tough loss to the Aggies in which they did not play badly took place last week. The Bulldogs should lick their wounds the next two weeks with non-SEC Games. Last week lost to Texas A&M 17-30 / this week vs Troy.

11. Tennessee (2-3) - The Vols are learning that close calls only count in Horseshoes and Cigars. And neither have anything to do with football. Last week lost to Arkansas 24-20 / this week vs Georgia.

12. South Carolina (2-3) - Is this team really that bad? Well a win over a highly ranked LSU team could make their season. Last week lost to Missouri 10-24 / this week vs LSU.

13. Auburn (3-2) - The Tigers rebounded last week against San Jose. Now the Tigers have a week off to fix some things before the second half of the season begins.

14. Vanderbilt (2-3) - A non-SEC win over Middle Tennessee was difficult, but it did happen. Now the 'Dores catch a week off before they can figure out if they can muster up another win.
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Deke: Halfway through '15, early season surprises in college football

You can always tell someone's depth of knowledge of college football when you talk across the board. Is that person blind outside of SEC country? Does that particular someone have an un-biased opinion? Are they really being fair or slanting their take towards the Big 12, Big Ten or Pac-12? Well, I'm quite sure that I'm labeled something out there, but I'd like to think that I'm as fair as the next guy!

So as we enter the halfway point of the season here are a few things that I've found interesting about college football in 2015.

1. Don't call anything yet!
Ohio State looks SUPER! Alabama is done! Ole Miss is the best! Michigan State has the best win of the season thus far! The ACC is weak! You get the point don't you?

Truth is, all of the chatter don't amount to a hill of beans right now. What might have looked like a great and impressive win (Michigan State over Oregon) and what might have been a sign of the end is near (Ole Miss beating Alabama) all turns on a dime without notice.

For example, Michigan State's so called most impressive win came against an Oregon team that gave up 62 points at home in a loss to Utah, and Alabama getting beat at home by Ole Miss turned in less than two weeks when the Tide picked up the most impressive win of the season so far dominating Georgia 38-10. In other words, just be quiet, watch as much as you can, and everything will play itself out!

2. Are they for real?
To me, the so-called favorites in some of the power five leagues are not the best team's in their conferences right now! In the Big Ten, sure Ohio State has more talent at QB than any other three teams in America, and they are the defending national champs - but tell me, who's looked more impressive in the Big Ten than Northwestern and Michigan?

Now to those "know it alls" out there, many of you will diss me and call me a fool and throw your own opinion higher above mine - but I've got proven wins on my side. Did you know other than their 24-17 week one loss to undefeated and top 10 ranked Utah that the Wolverines from Michigan have allowed just 14 points and are coming off back to back shutouts? No other team in the nation can say that, and if you think I'm ignorant, do you know who was the fourth highest bet on team to make the national playoffs? Yup it's BIG BLUE! And what about the buzz right outside the Windy City of Chicago? Now I'm not talking about the Cubs! I'm talking about Northwestern University.

If you love defense, then you'll want to watch the Michigan vs NW game this weekend in the Big House! Northwestern has allowed only 44 points this season with an average allowed of only nine points per game. They are 5-0 with an impressive week one win over Pac-12 power Stanford. And Michigan has given up a total of 31 points (6.2 points per game) and their only loss was to Utah. Michigan has the next two weeks at home and back to back wins over Northwestern and Michigan State would sky rocket the Big Blue Boys from the Big House well into the Top 10.

Clemson always gets off to a good start and then plays Georgia Tech. These Tigers are salty on defense and this week have a chance to prove their worth against the Yellow Jackets. Clemson could be the only hope for the ACC to make the four team playoff this season!

Ole Miss has one big win, as they did a year ago. But is that enough? Sure, their road win over the Tide will carry them a long way, but after being blown out on the road at Florida and big games left against Auburn, A&M, LSU and the Egg Bowl I find it hard to think the Rebs will not lose at least one more game!

3. Are they a fraud?
Michigan State plays good defense but they have one quality win, and thank God that rival Michigan is off to a hot start. If Sparty runs the table, they are worthy. If they don't, I'm not sure they will get into the final four.

Florida State has lost one game in two seasons and again this year, people like me question if this team is legit or are they just the best in a weak league? The masses believe the latter of the two and with a weak schedule remaining, the Noles may need rival Florida to be ranked in the top five when they meet later this season!

With the state of Texas out of the hands of the flagship Texas Longhorns, are Baylor and TCU the best teams in the Big 12? The Sooners from Oklahoma may have a say so. OU has a big road win over a decent Tennessee Team and with the other league powers still left to play, the Sooners could prove that the hype about them last year was no fluke, it was just a year too soon!

The Utah Utes are rolling right now and have two quality wins to their credit, beating Michigan and Oregon. But not many are agreeing with me that this team is that good! The next three games against Cal, Arizona State and USC will prove if Utah is for real or not!

4. Who's Heisman is it?
Right now, the name Leonard Fournette is all over the Heisman Trophy. Fournette still has so many huge games to play in and those can enhance his shot or help others get close to him. Should LF do well against Florida, Alabama, Ole Miss and A&M then he should be handed the trophy regardless of what anyone else does.

But for the fun of it, keep a close eye on TCU QB Trevonne Boykin and Ohio State TB Ezekiel Elliot - both of these play makers are the heart and soul of their top ranked teams and they are for real and worth the hype!

5. My favorite 5 teams right now
Alabama, LSU, Ohio State, Michigan and Utah

6. The teams I love but are worried about
Ole Miss, Stanford, Florida, Baylor and Florida State

7. Teams that are a little on the overrated side
UCLA, Michigan State, Clemson, Georgia and USC
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Deke: Good, bad and ugly from Saints vs Dallas

Well folks, the Saints needed a win and they got it. With the way the NFC South is looking, I think the next two games will determine the rest of the season, but first let's look back at Sunday against Dallas.

The Good!
The Saints won, and that's the best thing this week. Now they need to string a few wins together if they plan on being in the mix this season. The defense was very good on third downs - Dallas finished the game 3-of-12 on third down conversions, including just 1-for-5 in the second half. The Saints defense got off the field when they needed to most. Generally, the team got off to a much better start in this game and finished the up strong.

The Bad!
The Saints clock management towards the end of the game was questionable, at the very least. New Orleans got the ball with a TD lead up 20-13 with 4:24 left in the game. The Saints threw two passes and Mark Ingram ran out of bounds, taking only 12 seconds off the clock. The Saints could have taken at least another minute off the clock and put more pressure on an already nervous Brandon Weeden, but they did not. Weeden led his team down the field for a game-tying TD!

The Ugly!
Looking up in the NFC South division, the Saints are happy to get a win but this team is in a serious hole behind 4-0 Carolina and 4-0 Atlanta. The Saints are going to have to go on a few three to four game win streaks this season in order to have any chance at all to make some noise in the NFC South this season.

Helmet Stickers!
Let's give out some helmet stickers to some of the top players. The Saints best defensive players so far this season are all players that were not on the team last year. Rookies Hau'oli Kikaha and Stephone Anthony led the Saints in tackles and fellow rookie Damian Swann had another good showing as well. RB CJ Spiller came up with the biggest play of the season and RB Mark Ingram totaled 128 yards on 23 touches in the Saints big win.

Up Next!
The Saints head to the City of Brotherly Love to take on a struggling Eagles team in Philadelphia. New Orleans really needs this win in order to get the fans back on board and believing again. The season, to me, is on the line here. I think the Saints need to beat Philly and set up a Thursday night showdown with Atlanta. If the Saints come home 2-3 with a shot to get to five hundred with the Falcons coming to town, it would bode well and set up a big, meaningful game - something that the Superdome has not had in a while!
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Deke's college football top ten, week six

Please shut up when it comes to putting Alabama out of the playoff talks. The Tide still have the best CFB program in the nation and they are still by far the best overall team in the SEC! Until someone else proves it, tough! Ohio State got a scare, Michigan State is overrated and Ole Miss found out that it's a long season, and one quality win won't get you to the playoffs! Folks, let all the pundits do all the week to week garbage talking when it comes to national playoffs. In the end, the best four teams will rise to the top!

1. Ohio State - They're #1 because they finished the season that way a year ago, and I live by the rule - until the champ is beat they are still the champ. However it looks like the Buckeyes have a long way to go this season! Last week beat Indiana 34-27/ this week Maryland.

2. Alabama - Tell me, what team has the most impressive win this season? Yes, it's Alabama. To all the idiots out there who thought because of one game that this program was out, well you are what you are. Still the best program in America! Last week beat Georgia 38-10 / this week @ Tennessee

3. TCU - The Frogs gave Texans a lesson on which school owns the best football program in the Lone Star State! But is it TCU or Baylor? I know it's not Texas! Last week beat Texas 50-7 / this week @ Kansas State.

4. Baylor - The Bears routed a good Texas Tech team and are on a collision course with TCU later this season. Last week beat Texas Tech 63-35 / this week vs Kansas.

5. LSU - Yes they struggled in their win over Eastern Michigan, but name one team this season that has not struggled? Looks like the Tigers and Tide are going to have a big say so in the playoff hunt! Last week beat EMU 44-23/ this week @ South Carolina.

6. Florida - The Gators defense has always been legit and now their team has crashed the playoff party without warning. Man in two weeks a date at LSU is going to be nasty! Last week beat Ole Miss 38-10 / this week @ Missouri.

7. Utah - The Utes are the Class of the Pac-12 right now. And the next three weeks will prove if I'm right with games versus Cal, Arizona State and USC. Last week BYE / this week vs Cal.

8. Clemson - The Tigers always seemingly get off to a hot start and then Georgia Tech comes to town. Oops did I just say that? After a win over the Irish thats what the Tigers are facing this week. Last week beat Notre Dame 24-22 / this week vs Georgia Tech.

9. Michigan - Call me a Jim Harbaugh lover but since Big Blue lost 24-17 to open the season the Wolverines have allowed 14 points and just post back to back shutouts. Has anyone else done that? Look out this week as a huge one, perhaps the biggest ever between Northwestern and Michigan, goes down in the Big House! Last week beat Maryland 28-0 / this week vs Northwestern.

10. Michigan State - The Spartans are overrated. But they can prove me and the nation wrong with a big win in two weeks at the Big House. It ain't gonna happen. Last week beat Purdue 24-21 / this week @ Rutgers.

Just a little extra for ya!

Bye - Northwestern, Texas A&M, Stanford and Oklahoma
Sell - Georgia, Florida State, UCLA and Ole Miss
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Deke: If the Saints lose Sunday night, their season is over

Series History: Dallas and the Saints have played a total of 27 times. Dallas has 16 victories, while the Saints have won 11. Prior to last season's game, the Saints had won three straight and five of the last six, but in 2014 Dallas jumped out to a commanding 24-0 halftime lead and went on to beat the Saints 38-17.

The Saints and Cowboys square off once again with each team seemingly headed in different directions. Dallas is coming off their first loss of the season while for the second time in four years the Saints have started a season 0-3.

New Orleans is desperate for a win and Dallas needs to find a way to win without their two best players in QB Tony Romo and WR Dez Bryant. If Dallas can find a way to stay around five hundred before they get their go-to guys back, then maybe, just maybe the Cowboys can make a run at the post season when and if they get Dez and Tony back.

Dallas jumped out to a 21-7 and 28-14 lead over Atlanta last week before the Falcons rolled over Dallas in the final quarter en-route to a 39-28 win over the Cowboys.

What the Saints need to do?

Well folks, this is it - if the Saints lose Sunday then the season is over. Sure there will be 12 more games left on the schedule but there is no way the Saints will come back from that poor start and make the playoffs.

New Orleans needs to run better, rush the passer better, win the turnover battle and have someone on offense step up and make a big play. Who is the Saints go-to man on offense? No one seems to know.

I think the next three games can be not only a season saver but perhaps a franchise saver when it comes to the Sean Payton era. Should New Orleans get to 3-3 after six games that would represent three huge wins over playoff caliber teams.

Should the Saints lose to Dallas, I can't see this team being anything other than a spoiler or a team that musters up a five hundred record. And to me that's sad. This team is well paid at the top, they have been among the elite for nearly a decade and to me another poor start means that more than just X's and O's are the problem.

Questionable drafts, losing draft picks to trades, bad free agent picks and disciplinary problems are all starting to catch up with the Saints. With that said, the Saints are a win away from feeling good about themselves, and a win Sunday could possibly start something good!

Run the football!

New Orleans needs to run the ball against the Cowboys. Atlanta gashed Dallas and New Orleans should be able to get four yards per carry against the Cowboys Sunday night. The Saints brought in big players to boost their O-Line and now we want to see the results. Asking the Saints to rush the ball effectively against Dallas is not that huge of a deal. The Saints getting the job done may very well be!

Go Marcus Go!

The Saints have a new spark plug when it comes to making plays and he's rookie Marcus Murphy. Murphy was electric last week as he totaled 154 yards on five touches with a 74 yard punt return for a TD. Murphy should be more involved on offense and a team that needs a spark should call on the hot hand. Double M is hot!

Win the turnover battle, win the game!

When the Saints don't turn the ball over under Sean Payton, they don't lose. New Orleans was minus -2 last week in turnovers against Carolina. And the Saints are minus -3 for the season. If the Saints lose the battle of turnovers Sunday night they will more than likely lose the game!

The Big Chief's Final Analysis

New Orleans is a 4 1/2 point favorite over Dallas. Are the Cowboys as bad as Tampa even without Tony Romo? Can QB Brandon Weeded play as good as Bucs QB Jamies Winston did two weeks ago in the Superdome?

I'm thinking that the Saints are favored here because they are at home. New Orleans has lost their last six home games. And what would be a more prefect time to stop that skid than Sunday night against the Cowboys?

I think the Saints could win, but I'm not betting on it. In the spirit of being with the home team, I'll pick the Saints and take the points. New Orleans 28 Dallas 24!
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Deke's NFL Top Ten, week four

The Patriots are hot, the Ravens are not.  Seven teams are undefeated after three weeks and 25 are not!  In the NFC, Green Bay and Arizona are damn good, Atlanta is also close in the neighborhood.  Carolina and Dallas are about the same, while I think Seattle is still the most dangerous team in the game.  In the American Conference, White Horses play hard on defense while the Bengals and Steelers are salty on offense. Buffalo billed their way back into my top ten, while the planes of New York fell out yet again!  I think that about covers it y'all, and now back to more football.  

I'm a poet and you know it!  Here's my top ten, so let's begin!  

1.  New England Patriots (3-0) -  Nearly one thousand yards of offense the last two weeks and five pretty TD passes from the prettiest player in the history of the pigskin make me think that the dynasty is still alive and well.  Last week beat Jacksonville 51-17/ this week vs BYE.

2.  Green Bay Packers (3-0) -  The Packers are on fire and QB Aaron Rodgers is making last season's MVP showing look like it's going to be second fiddle to what he's currently doing in 2015.  Cold frozen tundra?  Warm indoor climate?  Those late January home field venues could be the difference in a Super Bowl berth between the Cards and Pack.  I think those two will be the top seeds this post season.  Which one is one and which one is two TBD!   Last week beat Kansas City 38-28/ this week @ San Francisco.

3.  Arizona Cardinals (3-0) -  They are without question the second best team in the NFL right now, and they might not even win their own division this season.  As long as QB Palmer plays, these Birds of Prey are pretty damn good!  And did I mention they've scored 95 points the last two weeks!  Last week beat Chicago 47-7/ this week vs St. Louis

4.  Denver Broncos  (3-0) - Denver has a stout defense and a veteran QB that knows less of his arm means more of his team, which is not a bad thing.  The White Horses are perhaps the most complete they've been since Manning came to the Mile High Club!  Damn did I just say that?  Oops!   Last week beat Detroit 24-12 / this week vs Minnesota

5. Cincinnati Bengals (3-0) - I know that the Bengals are going back to the playoffs.  What don't know is if they will finally win a post season game.  This team is as consistent as any in the regular season.  Too bad they don't hand out trophies this time of year!  Last week beat Baltimore 28-24/ this week @ Kansas City. 

6.  Atlanta Falcons (3-0) - As long as double J is in uniform, these Black Birds from the ATL got a shot.  Ladies and gentlemen say hello and welcome in the NFL's new best player, WR Julio Jones!  Julio is all that and then some, my people!   Last week beat Dallas 39-28/ this week vs Houston.

7. Seattle Seahawks (1-2) -  Yes, the Seabirds picked up their first win of the season with a dominant defensive effort in their 23-0 win over the Bears.  Hey, they could be 3-0, but they are just as dangerous at 1-2.  Last week beat Chicago 23-0/ this week vs Detroit.  .

8.  Pittsburgh Steelers (2-1) -  Big Ben went down and is out for at least four games.  Hey man, having Mike Vick as your backup ain't too damn bad.  I hope MV wins all his games as the Steelers starting QB.  Give the brother a break.  MV paid back all the money he was fined, he's helped the cause three fold and he's more mature man.  If you want forgiveness, don't you have to give it too?  Last week beat St. Louis 12-6/ this week vs Baltimore.  

9.  Buffalo Bills (2-1) - Their only loss was by eight points to the perfect Patriots. The Bills defense is stout and their offense led by young QB Tyrod Taylor is getting better each week.  Now the battle of NY takes place in Orchard Park as the G-Men from the Big Apple are in town.  I'm for the Bills people!  Last week beat Miami 41-14 /this week vs NY Giants.  

10.   Carolina Panthers (3-0) -  Hey, they win ugly and there's nothing wrong with that at all.  QB Cam is doing well and their defense is among the best in the NFL again this season.  I'd say another playoff berth is highly obtainable.  Last week beat New Orleans 27-22/ this week @ Tampa Bay.  
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Deke's SEC Rankings, week five

SEC, SEC, SEC!  The West is still the best and the Bulldogs and Gators are the only Eastern teams that still don’t have a loss.  Here are my rankings as we go into another week of great SEC football! 

1.     Georgia – RB Nick Chubb broke another record against Southern?! The Heisman could come down to Chubb and Fournette, and it will be won by the player that does the best in SEC games!  Last week beat Southern 48-6 / this week vs Alabama 

2.     Ole Miss – The Rebels had somewhat of a letdown in their game with the 'Dores, but that’s expected after you beat a team twice in a row for the first time in - forever!  Look out in the SWAMP!  Hotty Toddy!  Last week beat Vanderbilt 27-16 / this week @ Florida

3.     LSU – He’s the front runner for the big prize and RB Leonard Fournette is as legit as anyone, ever.  The last time a RB was taken #1 overall in the NFL Draft was back in 1995.  In April of 2017, Fournette will become the next!  Last week beat Syracuse 34-24 / this week vs Eastern Michigan

4.     Alabama – The last time Alabama lost two games in the regular season was back in 2010.  And the last time the Tide lost three games was in 2007. Last week beat UL Monroe / this week @ Georgia

5.     Texas A&M – The Aggies got by the Hogs and can eliminate another SEC West foe from the title race this week as the Bulldogs come to College Station.  Last week beat Arkansas 28-21OT / this week vs Nevada. 

6.     Florida – How could anyone have bet against the Gators when they played the Vols?  Florida owns property in Knoxville and they’ve owned it for 11 straight years!  The Gators have a chance now to enter the national conversation this week!  Last week beat Tennessee 28-27/this week vs Ole Miss

7.     Mississippi State – The Dogs reappeared in the West race and now can shock us all with a road win over Texas A&M.  Anytime you’ve got a player like QB Dak Prescott you’ve got a shot! Last week beat Auburn 17-9 / this week vs @ Texas A&M

8.     Kentucky – I like this team.  Their only loss was to undefeated Florida, and the Wildcats could finish towards the top of the East this season. Last week beat Missouri 21-13 / this week vs Eastern Kentucky 

9.     Missouri – The Tigers lost for the first time last week and now face a must-win to stay alive in the East game against the 'Cocks!  Last week lost to Kentucky 13-21 / this week vs Missouri

10.     Arkansas – The season from hell (or should I say season in hell?) continues for the Hogs.  Still with such a tough schedule of SEC games in front of them you can’t call these Hogs out just yet.  But the plump phat lady is warming up!  Last week lost Texas A&M 28-21OT/ this week @ Tennessee

11.     Tennessee – Coach Butch Jones and the Vols are an impoved program but not ready for prime time just yet.  Someone will win this week between two struggling teams.  Last week lost to Florida 28-21 / this week vs Arkansas.  . 

12.     Auburn – WAR EAGLE! IT’S OVER!  Only question is how good can Auburn become in 2016, becase 2015 is done!  Last week lost to Mississippi State 9-17 / this week vs San Jose State

13.     South Carolina – The ole ball coach could be coming to his last days on the sideline.  2014 and 2015 are showing that this team has lost it's power.  Forever?  I’m not sure.  Last week beat Central Florida 31-14 / this week @ Missouri 

14.     Vanderbilt – All they can hope for is respectable showings the rest of the season!  Last week lost to Ole Miss 16-27 / this week @ Middle Tennessee
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Deke: Saints likely to deliver a season full of long Mondays

Close calls are for losers! Hey, that’s the flat out truth.  The Saints are not a franchise enamored with moral victories.  In fact, not being negative Nelly here, but as a fan (which we all are), close calls suck, especially if you’re on the losing end.  Now the Saints fall to 0-3 and come home in primetime to face the Dallas Cowboys.  So as I prepare to look back and recap the Saints third loss of the season in as many games, I promise I try to remain upbeat.  What I’m upbeat about - I have no idea!

The Good
Saints QB Luke McCown did have a good showing despite a game-clinching pick thrown late in the game. Luke was 31 of 38 for 310 yards, with a QB rating of 89.7.  Luke was sharp throwing the football and he was very active in distributing the ball completing passes to nine different Saints players..

Rookie Marcus Murphy did something that no Saint had done since September 2011 season when he returned a punt 74 yards for a TD, becoming the first Saints player to score on a punt return since Darren Sproles did against Green Bay. Murphy averaged over 30 yards each time he touched the football. He had three kick returns for a total of 72 yards and two punt returns for 82 yards.

The Saints defense played well for the third straight game but in the end it was not enough.  Let’s face it - although this team is 0-3 on the season the defense has played better up to this point.  But it’s just not good enough.

The Bad!
The Saints are still struggling to find a go-to guy on offense, and the team still looks weak when it comes to running the football.  The Saints rushed the ball 24 times for 70 yards with an average of 2.9 yards per rush.  Can you answer this?  With the game on the line who do the QB’s go-to?  Is it a WR, a RB or a TE? 

And the Saints have yet to finish a game with a team average of four yards or more rushing the football. 

The Ugly!!
The Saints are 0-3 for the second time in the last four seasons.  New Orleans sits alone in the NFC South as the only winless team in the division.  Atlanta and Carolina are 3-0, Tampa sits at 1-2. 

The Saints have no threat of a running game.  It’s like Who Dat’s once again hold their breath when the Saints rush the football.  When the Saints get a gain over four yards it’s a surprise and not expected.

How many of you out there love when you wake up on Monday morning with that feel-good feeling when the Saints are coming off a win?  It sets the tone for the first two days of the week and it makes us all feel so much better.  And man, when the Saints lose it feels bad.  It’s going to be a season in which we all have a bunch of bad Monday mornings.  And my people, there is only one cure for that sick, miserable feeling!
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