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Thursday Night Football: Saints at Panthers...with a Dash of Florida St. at Louisville

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The Carolina Panthers will host the New Orleans Saints on Thursday Night Football. But before they do, you’d be wise to tune into a Top-25 College matchup between the Cardinals and Seminoles!

Streeter Lecka

Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints, who have lost all four of their road games in 2014, head to Carolina on Thursday night to take on the Panthers.  The game kicks off at 8:25pm ET and, for the first time this year, will be shown on the NFL Network.

It wasn’t all that long ago that the NFC West was the laughing stock of the NFL.  In 2010, the Rams [yes, the Rams] barely missed a playoff berth when they fell to the Seahawks [in Seattle of course] in the final game of the regular season.  The Seahawks then went to the playoffs with a losing [7-9] record.  The 10-6 New York Giants and Tampa Bay Buccaneers would be watching the postseason from home.

And here we find ourselves on a Thursday night in Week 9, with a pair of teams atop the NFC South squaring off...with losing records.  The division boasts a 9-20-1 combined record, and as bad as a 1-6 record sounds, even the Buccaneers [only two games out of first] aren’t out of contention with half the season behind them.

Regardless, this game is loaded with talented players.  Cam Newton & Co. are coming off consecutive losses, and they’ll look to right the ship on offense with the return of RB Deangelo Williams.  He’ll most likely be splitting carries with Jonathan Stewart, who had a solid outting against the Seahawks in Week 8.  His 79 rush yards marked a game-high dating back to 2011.  And let’s not forget about WR Kelvin Benjamin.

On the flip side of the coin, Drew Brees and the Saints’ offense need little introduction.  Jimmy Graham returned to health last week, catching five passes on six targets, and posting 59 yards and score.  The headline of last week’s destruction of the Packers, though, was the play of a healthy Mark Ingram; who ran for 172 yards [at 7.2 yards a clip] and a touchdown.  He forced 10 missed tackles in that game alone.

Regardless of how potent the Saints’ offense may be, they have to win on the road.  And that’s something they’ve struggled...mightily do.

But before that game even kicks off, there’s another that garners your attention....

The 2015 NFL draft isn’t that far off.  Ok, it is...but mock drafting - for Rams’ fans who might’ve already packed it up for the season - is just warming up.  They need a QB, right?

Then tonight’s Top-25 college matchup is just what the doctor ordered.  The No. 25 Louisville Cardinals [6-2] host the No. 2 Florida State Seminoles [7-0].

Why is that important to you?  Well duh!  The Rams, with their 2-5 record, just aren’t doing enough to win the "Suck for the Duck" Marcus Mariota sweepstakes.  Next man up: Seminoles QB Jameis Winston.

A few Links for your Thursday Night College Football pleasure:

Florida St. at Louisville Betting Odds, Guide, & Predictions

Three Big Challenges for Jameis Winston Against Louisville

FSU-Louisville: Winston’s Toughest Test Yet

FSU-Louisville:  2015 NFL Draft Prospect Preview


We’ll take your comments on the upstanding Florida State QB in the comments section well as all things Thursday Night Football, College Football, St. Louis Rams & 2015 NFL Draft.  Let’s face it, you can say just about anything in there, and I can’t stop ya.  But sergey606 can.  Please Hammer, don’t hurt ‘em.