5 Reasons Why Saints Will Defeat The Dolphins
The New Orleans Saints return to action on Sunday, when they take on the Miami Dolphins in London, England, and it’s time to take a look at five reasons why they will win.
Actually, that should probably read “why they might win”.
Truthfully, I think the Saints will indeed win, but crazy things happen during NFL games in London, as evidenced by last week's 44-7 win by the Jaguars over the Ravens.
But yes, I do think the Saints will win, and get to 2-2.
In another segment, Greg Larnerd lists five reasons why the Saints will lose.
Kickoff time is scheduled for 8:30 am.
1)---Drew Brees: He just keeps on keepin' on, doesn't he? From 2011-2016, Brees averaged 5,140 passing yards a season. Again, that's an average of 5,140 passing yards a season, from age 32-37. Now, 38-years old, Brees is off to another hot start, tied for 4th in the league with 867 passing yards, to go along with 6 touchdowns. And things can get even better, as Brees' two starting tackles, Terron Armstead and Zach Strief will be returning in the coming weeks, along with slot receiver Willie Snead, who will likely play on Sunday. Brees in now less than 5,000 passing yards away from becoming the all-time leader in that category, and despite closing in on age 40, he hasn't shown many signs of slowing down. Josh McCown threw for 249 yards against the Dolphins last week, after Phillip Rivers tossed for 331 yards against them the week prior. It looks like things may be shaping up for a big day for #9.
2)---Return of Willie Snead: Snead was suspended for the first three games of the 2017 season for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy, and was badly missed. Just last season, Snead finished the season with 72 receptions for 895 yards and four touchdowns. His 69.2% catch rate was eighteenth among NFL wide receivers. How crucial is Snead? Well, last year, the Saints led the NFL in third-down conversions. This year, they rank tied for 18th. The Saints will never say it, but they are probably really upset with Snead, for putting them in a bad situation with the mistake that he made. He may not get the snaps he would normally get, but he''l get his share of snaps. The bottom line is he'll be back, which will make the offense just that much more potent.
3)---Lawrence Timmons: The linebacker is back for the Dolphins...maybe. But even if he is, it probably won't be greatly beneficial to them for at least another week. The 10-year NFL veteran joined the Dolphins back in March, as an unrestricted free agent, signing a two-year, $12 million contract, but was suspended, after he went missing a day before the Dolphins Week 2 win against the Los Angeles Chargers. He also missed Miami's second game last week against the Jets. He's been reinstated, but may not be active. And even if he is, likely won't be able to play much. That's big, because Timmons ranks third in the NFL with 893 combined tackles since 2009. The Dolphins are lacking depth at linebacker right now. So much so, that they had to trade for Stephone Anthony, who didn't work out in New Orleans. Timmons was supposed to be a fix for the Miami defense. So far, he's been just the opposite, and that won't change, at least on Sunday.
4)---Offensive Line: This doesn't sound right, as the Saints are still likely to play without both of their starting tackles, in Armstead and Strief, but the make-shift bunch has done a good job the last two weeks. Last Sunday, for the second-consecutive week, they found a way. Playing without both starting tackles, all you can ask from this unit is to keep Drew Brees upright, and give them a chance, which they’ve done. The team averaged 5.9 yards-per-rush in the first half last week against the Panthers, and that help set the tone. Larry Warford played particularly well. To be blunt, they simply outproduced a Carolina defensive front that many thought would control the line of scrimmage. This week, the Saints' offensive front is going up against a Dolphins team that has compiled only 3 sacks this season. Granted, they've played only two games, but even last year, they ranked tied for 19th in sacks, which was mediocre. I truly believe the Saints' offensive line matches up well against the Dolphins' defensive line, which is saying a lot, because that DL, with the likes of Ndamukong Suh, Cameron Wake, and Andre Branch is the strength of the Miami defense. I think Brees will have time to throw, which means bad news for the Dolphins.
5)---Turnover Margin: Boy, it's amazing how good you look when you finish +3 in turnover margin. That's what the Saints finished last week, and a big reason why they won. It sounds boring, but it really is accurate; the team that wins the turnover battle normally wins the game. So far this season, the Saints have done a good job of protecting the football, As a matter of fact, you can't do better. They have zero turnovers. Their three interceptions of Cam Newton's passes last week were the first turnovers created by the defense. Maybe that could be a bad thing, as maybe they're due for a turnover. Still, Jay Cutler is still relatively new to the Dolphins' offense, and he's been known to throw a costly pick or two in the past. Anything can happen, in terms of fumbles, but as for interceptions thrown, who do you trust more: Brees or Cutler?