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 4-4 on the year, will be home to take on the 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 336.0, and is coming off a game against the San Francisco 49ers in which he threw for 323 yards and three touchdowns. Sure, Denver is a different animal, but so is Brees. He's having his best season since 2011, and will likely play at a high level on Sunday.
2)—Denver Rush Defense: The Broncos, as good as their defense is, are allowing 128.6 rushing yards-per-game, which ranks 29th in the NFL. Not only that, but they're allowing 4.4 yards-per-carry, which is the same as the Saints. Some might be surprised to hear it, but the Denver rush defense has been susceptible this season, allowing 114 rush yards to Latavius Murray last Sunday, and 111 rush yards to Melvin Gordon two weeks ago. The Saints rushed for 248 yards last Sunday against the 49ers. Now, they won't get that against the Broncos, but there are valid reasons to believe that the Saints will be able to move the ball on the ground on Sunday.
3)—Trevor Siemian: He's struggled over the last couple of weeks, completing 38-of-75 passes, combined, with two touchdowns and two interceptions. In defense of Siemian, he's a 24-year old quarterback who had never attempted an NFL pass until this season. He was never expected to win games this season for the Broncos, only to keep from losing them. Still, it should be pointed out that Siemian ranks 24th in the NFL in quarterback rating (86.2), while Brees ranks third (106.7). Advantage Saints.
4)—Injury To C.J. Anderson: He's out for the season and Denver is just not the same team running the football. On Sunday, they rushed it 12 times for a paltry 33 yards, after rushing for only 57 yards on 25 attempts the week prior. As a team, the Broncos are only averaging 96.8 rushing yards a contest, which ranks 23rd in the league. Problem is, with the injury to Anderson, it's hard to envision them improving.
5)—The Return of Sheldon Rankins and Delvin Breaux. Rankins, the Saints' first round draft choice, played in his first career game last Sunday, while Breaux played in his first game since opening week. They didn't do anything special, but as these guys shake of the rust the Saints will get better. This week, one, or even both of these guys could have a big impact.
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. They're getting healthier, with the return of Breaux and Rankins, but are still without starting cornerback P.J. Williams, who was put on IR after week two. Linebacker Dannell Ellerbe has played in only one game this year, and likely won't play on Sunday, while starting left tackle Terron Armstead, who has been hobbled most of the season, left last Sunday's game in the first quarter and is very much questionable this Sunday. Safety Kenny Vaccaro is also questionable, as he's facing a four-game suspension for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing drugs. In Vaccaro's case, the drug in question is Adderall.
2)—Chances Are The Game Will Come Down To One Play: Okay, New Orleans has played 8 games so far this season, and 6 have been decided by 6 points or less. The Saints are good enough to hang in there with almost anybody, including the defending Super Bowl Champions, but not good enough to blow out most teams. Chances are, this game is going to come down to a couple of plays, and if that happens, anything can happen.
3)—Von Miller: He's a great player, and a great pass rusher. Miller currently leads the NFL with 9.5 sacks, and is the focal point of a Denver defense which leads the NFL in team sacks with 28.0. Brees will get pressured, you can count on that. You just hope that the Saints are able to slow down Miller, and the Broncos pressure on the quarterback, just a little.
4)—Broncos Pass Defense: They make it very difficult to throw the football. The Broncos rank first in the NFL, allowing only 183 passing yards-per-game. They put a lot of pressure on the quarterback, forcing him to make mistakes, and/or get rid of the football sooner than he'd like to, and not allow the receivers to run deep routes. The Denver cornerback, Aqib Talib and Chris Harris, Jr. are among the best tandems in the league, while the safties, T.J. Ward and Darian Stewart, are very good in their own right.
5)—Special Teams: This one isn't hard to figure out; Denver has good special teams and New Orleans doesn't. The Broncos rank 11th in kickoff yards (22.5) while allowing the fewest average yards-per-return in the league (16.3). The Saints on the other hand, rank 31st (16.4) in terms of yards-per-kickoff return, while allowing the 8th-most in the league (24.2). The Saints have been bad on special teams all year, and playing a team the caliber of the Broncos is cause for concern.