5 Reasons Why The Saints Will Win/Lose On Sunday
The New Orleans Saints return to action this Sunday, and it’s time to take a look at five reasons why they will win, and five reasons why they will lose.
The Saints, who are currently 2-4 on the year, will play host to the Seattle Seahawks at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, La.
Kickoff time is scheduled for noon.
5 Reasons The Saints Will Win:
1)—Drew Brees: Brees leads the NFL in passing yards-per-game, averaging 350.0, and is coming off a game against the Kansas City Chiefs in which he threw for 367 yards and 3 touchdowns. Seattle has one of the better defenses in the league, and he likely won’t throw for those numbers against them, the Seahawks aren't facing the Cardinals again this week either. The Saints are going to score more than 6 points. Again, the Seahawks have an outstanding defense, but it's not like it's impossible to move the football against them. If you look at Seattle's schedule so far, they've faced the Dolphins, Rams, 49ers, Jets, and Cardinals. The Falcons are the only team they've played so far this season that most would say have a good offense, and a good quarterback. In that meeting, Falcons' quarterback Matt Ryan threw for 335 yards and three scores. Yards and points will be a little more difficult to come by, but not impossible.
2)—Seattle offensive line: The Seahawks spend a lot of money on their defense, because they're good. They also spend a lot of money on their quarterback, because he's good. With the salary cap, you have to cut corner somewhere, and with Seahawks, it's on the offensive line. They have one of the least expensive offensive lines in the league, and it shows, as Seattle only ranks 27th in the league in rushing yards (82.7 per game). The Saints' defense, which certainly isn't a strength itself, actually looks like it matches up pretty well with the Seattle offensive front.
3)—Saints secondary matches up pretty well with Seahawks receivers: Seattle is not a team that relies on big plays from their receivers. That’s a good thing, considering New Orleans is still banged up in the secondary, playing without starting corners Delvin Breaux and P.J. Williams. The Seahawks just don’t get a lot of big plays from their wide outs. Doug Baldwin, who is a solid, if unspectacular wide out, has only two touchdown receptions this season, while Tanner McEvoy is the only other receiver on their roster who has a touchdown catch, with one, and he has collected only three total catches. Baldwin is a good receiver, as his 78 catches for 1,069 last season will attest. But the Seahawks are probably one receiver short of really taking advantage of the Saints' banged up secondary.
4)—October: Sunday will mark the fourth and final game of October for the Saints, which is big, considering the Saints have lost 7-consecutive September games, dating back to 2014, while fairing pretty well in October. They’ve gone 1-9 over their last 10 games in September. On the other hand, the Saints have been pretty good in October, going 11-4 over the last three seasons, including a 4-1 October record a season ago, after an 0-3 start, as well as a 2-1 record this year.
5)—Seahawks don't score on the road: Seattle is 3-0 at home, but only 1-1-1 on the road. Despite averaging 25.0 ppg in three home games, they're only averaging 12.0 ppg in three road games. Even more alarming for Seattle, they didn't score a touchdown in two of the three road games that they played.
5 Reason the Saints Won’t Win:
1)—Injuries: Sure, every team suffers their share of injuries, but the Saints have had more than their share. Most of the year, they’ve been without the services of defensive lineman Sheldon Rankins, linebacker Dannell Ellerbe, and cornerbacks Delvin Breaux and P.J. Williams, while offensive lineman Terron Armstead missed three-straight games before returning last week, and even then left the game in the first quarter, before later returning. Offensive lineman Andrus Peat also missed last Sunday’s game. Just too many injuries for the Saints. The bottom line is they just aren’t deep or talented enough to withstand too many injuries. Few teams are.
2)—Seahawks defense: Seattle has held opponents to without a touchdown in two games this year, and to only one in another one. They are tied for the league lead in fewest points allowed (14.0 ppg), rank sixth in yards allowed (310.2), and also rank tied for third in sacks (20). Their defense is big, physical, and athletic. Defensive line, linebackers, and secondary; Seattle has it all, defensively.
3)—Jimmy Graham: The Saints have had less than stellar play at linebacker and safety in recent years, and opposing tight ends have torched them at times because of it. Graham is a good one, and could be a match-up problem for the Saints, especially if he's motivated in his return to New Orleans. He may not be the receiving threat he was with the Saints, but Graham is still productive, with 27 catches for 408 yards and one touchdown. Anytime the opposition has a quality tight end, and the Seahawks do, you should be concerned if you’re a Saints fan.
4)—Michael Bennett: Seattle's 8th year defensive end is a match-up nightmare, for any team. He can also line-up at defensive tackle, or any other spot on the defensive front, and is almost impossible to prepare for. After an outstanding 10-sack season last year, Bennett is having another fine campaign this year. The Avondale, La. native could be the difference between the Saints being 3-4 or 2-5 after Sunday. He's every bit as good as the hype.
5)—Seahawks have had Saints' number: The two teams have met three times since 2011, with Seattle winning all three, outscoring New Orleans, 98-58. In fairness however, all of those games were played in Seattle.