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Monday, 21 November 2011 11:50
New Orleans Saints vs. Detroit Lions replaces Colts-Pats On NBC Sunday Night Football
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Detroit-LionsIt will be the New Orleans Saints versus the Detroit Lions on NBC Sunday night football on Dec. 4 bumping the Indianapolis Colts and New England Patriots out of the national limelight. 

NBC reportedly prefers the Saints-This is what happens when a top-rated squad loses its head, heart and arm such as Peyton Manning, who has been out for the year due to a neck injury.

Between the Lions' Thanksgiving game against the Packers and the Saints game the following week,  this will be the first time the Lions have played consecutive nationally televised games since 2000, when the beat the Patriots on Thanksgiving and then lost to the Vikings on ESPN the following week.

With both teams at 7-3, Lions-Saints will have major NFC playoff implications. The Saints are in first place in the NFC South, while the Lions are the leaders in the NFC wild card race.

 The Falcons (6-4) picked up half a game on the idle Saints (7-3) with their win on Sunday. They were coming of a rough 26-23 loss to the Saints in overtime last week. Under coach Mike Smith, the Falcons are now 16-3 following a loss during the regular season including eight consecutive wins in bounce-back games...

It wasn't Marshawn Lynch vs. the Saints, but the Bucs' LaGarrette Blount barreled his way past what seemed like 16 Packers on his way to a touchdown and a run of the year nomination. The 240-pound back seemed to shed any would-be tackler with ease during his 54-yard TD. Saints fans will recall a similar run by Lynch of the Seahawks during last season's playoff game when the Saints tried to strip the ball instead of tackling...

Here's a look at each NFL team's salary-cap space with six games left in the 2011 season per Pro Football Talk: "Jaguars , $32.9 million; Chiefs, $27.4 million; Broncos, $25.6 million; Buccaneers, $25.1 million; Seahawks, $21.7 million; Bills, $20.9 million; Bengals, 419.2 million; Cowboys, $18.2 million; 49ers, $16.7 million;  Bears, $15.2million; Redskins, $11.9 million; Browns, $10.2 million; Dolphins, $9.1 million; Patriots, $8.4 million; Titans, $8.3 million, Jets, $7.9 million; Cardinals, $7.2 million; Packers, $6.2 million; Ravens, $6.1 million; Eagles, $5.3 million; Saints, $4.5 million; Rams, $4.5 million; Vikings, $4.1 million; Colts, $3.0 million; Raiders, $2.9 million; Chargers,  $2.4 million; Texans, $1.9 million; Panthers, $1.8 million; Lions, $1.8 million; Giants, $1.7 million; Falcons, $1.6 million,; Steelers, $640,000...

Ever since Kim Kardashian became free again, Reggie Bush has enjoyed the best three weeks of his career. In the past three weeks, Bush has rushed for 227 yards, caught passes for 107 yards and scored four rushing touchdowns...Peter King  of reported during Football Night in America that Peyton Manning's $28 million option bonus is due before the start of the 2012 league year. Because no trades can happen until until after the 2012 league year begins, the Colts won't be able to trade Manning before the $28 million is due. As the Colts move closer and closer to clinching the Andrew Luck sweepstakes, some have suggested that the Colts could trade Manning if they knew they were getting Luck-y, but trading him seems  the Colts will be less likely trading him before the $28 million comes due."...

by Ed Staton

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Ed Staton

Ed Staton is a former sports writer for the Times Picayune and New Orleans States Item.  He also served as the New Orleans Saints Information Director.  He has won 43 media awards in writing, design and photography.  


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