5 Reasons The Saints Will Win/Lose This 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 won't win.
The Saints, who are still winless on the year, at 0-3, will travel to San Diego, California to take on the 1-2 San Diego Chargers for a 3:25 pm kickoff.
5 Reasons The Saints Will Win:
1)---Drew Brees going up against Chargers secondary: Brees leads the NFL in passing yards, with 1,062, and will be going up against a San Diego defense that ranks 30th out of 32 teams, in terms of passing yards allowed, giving up 322 pass yards a game.
2)---San Diego lacks not the downfield receiving threats of Atlanta's backs: The Saints are incredibly banged up in the secondary, and yeah, they did allow 240 passing yards by Matt Ryan on Monday night. But the two Falcons' running backs, Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman, did the most damage, combining for 8 catches for 102 yards. Even without cornerbacks Delvin Breaux, P.J. Williams, and Damian Swann, the Saints still held Julio Jones to only one catch on Monday night. Where the Saints got killed, was by the backs, out of the backfield, due to deficiencies at linebacker and safety.
3)---Kenny Vaccaro: A big reason the Falcons shredded the Saints' defense on Monday night was due to the absence of Vaccaro, who played well in the first two games of the season. Having him back would be huge, especially considering the fact that Philip Rivers is among the top play-action passing quarterbacks in the NFL.
4)---October: Sunday will mark the second day of October, which is big, considering the Saints have lost 7-consecutive September games, dating back to 2014. They've also gone 1-9 over their last 10 games in September. On the other hand, the Saints have been pretty good in October, going 9-3 over the last three seasons, including a 4-1 October record a season ago, after an 0-3 start.
5)---Law of averages: The Saints, along with the Browns, Bears, and Jaguars are the only winless teams in the NFL. It's a league built on parity. Teams aren't supposed to go undefeated or winless. Besides, the Saints were a play away from winning each of their first two games. It's the NFL, and the Saints are an NFL team. A win is coming, and coming soon. At least, I hope so!
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. Last Monday, they were without the services of defensive lineman Sheldon Rankins, linebacker Dannell Ellerbe, safety Kenny Vaccaro, cornerbacks Delvin Breaux and P.J. Williams, offensive lineman Terron Armstead, and receiver Willie Snead, who are all starters. Three or four of those guys will hopefully be back, but the Saints are still banged up, especially in the secondary, and the bottom line is they just aren't deep or talented enough to withstand too many injuries.
2)---Philip Rivers: Rivers is a good quarterback who has thrown for a lot of yards (42,240) over his career. He's off to a god start this year, throwing for 793 yards, to go along with 5 touchdowns and no interceptions. This guy, going up against a defense that has just been hammered by injuries, is a major concern.
3)---Travis Benjamin: When Keenan Allen went down for the year with a knee injury, most wondered who Rivers would be able to get the ball to. This year, Benjamin has elevated his game, accumulating 17 catches for 229 yards and two touchdowns. You can almost see the Chargers running the ball well for three-straight plays, forcing the New Orleans linebackers and secondary closer to the line of scrimmage, before Rivers, who again is an outstanding play-action quarterback, hits Benjamin on a long pass off of play-action.
4)---Melvin Ingram: Coming off a productive 2015 season in which he totaled 10.5 sacks, Ingram is off to a good start this year, with 2.0 sacks and numerous pressures. The Saints have to be able to throw the ball to win, but Ingram may not give Brees the time he needs.
5)---Short week: Teams that play at home on Monday night typically have an advantage, just like any home team, although that didn't help the Saints on Monday night. However, when those teams have to go on the road the next week, on a short-week, it's puts them at a disadvantage. Add in the fact that the Saints have to travel all the way to the west coast, and it makes the task ever harder. They could be staring 0-4 right in the face heading into the bye week.