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 5-8 on the year, will be on the road to take on the Arizona Cardinals, in a match-up of NFC foes.
Kickoff time is scheduled for 3:05 pm.
5 Reasons The Saints Will Win:
1)—Drew Brees: Brees leads the NFL in passing yards-per-game, averaging 321.0, and is coming off two-consecutive games in which he struggled, throwing 6 interceptions, while not throwing a single touchdown. Why is that a good thing? Because it probably won’t happen again. Despite the last two games, Brees is having his best season since 2011. He’s likely to bounce back and have a good game on Sunday.
2)—New Orleans Has More Play-Makers: The Saints lead the NFL in yards-per-game, averaging 418.3, while being currently tied for second place in he league in scoring, averaging 27.5 points-per-game. The Cardinals, while not a bad offense, rank 15th in scoring, averaging 23.0 points a contest. If it becomes a shootout, it's advantage New Orleans.
3)—Michael Thomas: Thomas missed last week's game against the Buccaneers with a foot injury, but is expected to return this week. That's big, as Thomas was sorely missed last week. Thomas leads the team in receptions, with 69, and gives New Orleans a big-bodied receiver to go up against the physical secondary of the Cardinals.
4)—Third Down Efficiency: New Orleans is tops in the league, converting on 48.3 of their third down conversions. The Saints have been really good, most of the year, in terms of moving the chains on third down. Now, Arizona is ranked 6th, converting on 42.5 of their third down attempts, but the Saints have been better in that department for most of the year, and I don’t think that is going to change on Sunday.
5)—Cameron Jordan: He's been playing well over the past couple of weeks, and looks like he matches up well with Arizona's offensive front. Jordan ranks 5th on the team in tackles (51), first in tackles for losses (11), and tied for first in sacks (5.5). He has to play well for the Saints to have a solid shot at winning, and I think he will.
5 Reason the Saints Won’t Win:
1)—Carson Palmer: He is not having a great season, and threw for only 145 yards last week against Miami, but he’s still very capable, throwing for 3,378 and 20 touchdowns. Palmer will also be going up against a depleted Saints secondary, who will be without the services of strong safety Kenny Vaccaro, who is suspended, and may be without cornerback Delvin Breaux, who injured a shoulder last week.
2)—Chances Are The Game Will Come Down To One Score: Okay, New Orleans has played 12 games so far this season, and 9 have been decided by 6 points or less. The Saints are good enough to hang in there with almost anybody, but not good enough to blow out most teams. Meanwhile, 6 of the 13 games that the Cardinals have played this season has been decided by 8 points, or less. Chances are, this game is going to be decided in the last couple of minutes, and that makes it anybody’s ballgame.
3)—Jermaine Gresham: The Saints have had their share of issues with tight ends over the years, and Gresham is a solid pro. catching 32 passes this season for 309 yards. If he has a good game, something he's extremely capable of, the Saints could be in trouble.
4)—Cardinals Are Playing At Home: Arizona is 4-2-1 at home this season, compared to only 1-5 on the road. The Cardinals, who haven't lost at home since week four, will be facing a New Orleans team that is only 2-4 on the road.
5)—Special Teams: This one isn’t hard to figure out; the Saints rank 31st (16.2) in terms of yards-per-kickoff return, while allowing the 8th-most in the league (23.5). The Saints have been bad on special teams all year, and have arguably lost three games this season, including two of their last four losses, specifically due to special teams. Sunday’s game will like be close, and special teams could be the difference. If it is, the Saints could be in trouble.