Fate simply wasn’t ready to give the New Orleans Saints a break from longtime nemesis Steve Smith.
The former Carolina Panthers receiver not only left the NFC South Division, but went to another conference when he chose to join the Baltimore Ravens in free agency last offseason.
The Ravens and Saints (4-6) meet just once every four years, including tonight in New Orleans.
“He’s out of our division, but we have to play him again,” Saints middle linebacker Curtis Lofton said.
At least they don’t have to deal with him twice this season. Smith has even helped New Orleans’ playoff cause. Baltimore (6-4) has beaten the three other clubs in the NFC South, and Smith has been a factor in each game.
“You get real excited. Family members get to see you play,” Smith said about playing on “Monday Night Football.” “Ex-girlfriends that wished they wouldn’t have dumped you, they’re questioning themselves right now. So, it’s fun.”
Bills familiar with Jets, Ford Field
Buffalo coach Doug Marrone outlined some of the obstacles his team was facing while trying to prepare for tonight’s game, which was moved to Detroit because of all the snow in western New York.
The Bills are missing out on a home game and had to travel to Michigan just to practice, but there is one factor that might make all this a bit easier: They’re facing the New York Jets – a division rival they were already plenty familiar with.
“Yeah, I’m not going to lie,” Marrone said. “Obviously, that helps a little bit.”
The Bills (5-5) and Jets (2-8) have already faced each other, with Buffalo winning 43-23 on Oct. 26. The Bills are also familiar with Ford Field, where they beat the Detroit Lions in early October.
“We’ve played here, we know what shoes to wear, what the surface is like, what the sidelines are like,” Marrone said.
DBs go down
It was a tough day for defensive backs.
Browns safety Tashaun Gipson, who leads the NFL with six interceptions, was carted off the field with a right knee injury. He will have an MRI today.
The Dolphins lost cornerback Jamar Taylor to a shoulder injury. Falcons cornerback Robert McClain left with a left calf injury in the third quarter.
Bears cornerback Kyle Fuller injured his left knee against the Buccaneers.
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