New Orleans Saints (1-2 SU, 1-2-0 PS, 3-0-0 O/U) vs Miami Dolphins (1-1 SU, 1-1-0 PS, 0-2-0 O/U)
When: 9:30 PM EDT, Sunday, October 1, 2017
Where: Wembley Stadium, London, England
Lines: New Orleans -3
National League Football action on Sunday morning and the New Orleans Saints will battle it out with the Miami Dolphins at Wembley Stadium in London. The Saints enter this contest off a solid 34-13 road win over the Carolina Panthers, while the Dolphins are off a bad 20-6 loss at to the Jets on the road. These teams last met in 2013 and the Saints won that game at home by a score of 38-17.
Saints Rout Panthers On The Road For First Win
The New Orleans Saints started the year at 0-2, but they finally got in the win column this past weekend when they topped the Carolina Panthers on the road by a score of 34-13. They were five-point dogs in the game, but they showed up to play, while the Panthers didn’t. Drew Brees had a very solid game in the win as he hit 22 of 29 passes for 213 and three TDs, with no INTs. Brees (109.7 QBR) has now thrown for 867 yards with six TDs and no INTs on the year and will be taking on a Miami defense that has really struggled against the pass this year so far. Michael Thomas has been his favorite target so far as he has 17 catches for 221 yards and a TD on the year. The Saints have been a mess on the defensive side of the ball for years and this year has been no different so far, but they really had a good showing against the Panthers as they held them to just 288 yards of total offense, including just 156 yards through the air. The Saints also picked off three passes in the game. It was one of the better defensive efforts that they have had in a long time and know they look to duplicate that against a Miami offense that has struggled so far. If they show up and play defense like they did against the Panthers, then they have a good shot at winning the game.
The Saints have been very good on offense so far this year as they come in ranked 7th in the league in total offense (378.3 ypg), 6th in passing (281.7 ypg), 18th in rushing (96.7 ypg) and 11th in scoring at 24.3 ppg. On defense, they have been poor as always as they come in ranked 31st in total yards allowed (437.7 ypg), 30th against the pass (311.0 ypg) and 24th vs the run (126.7 ypg), while allowing 26.0 ppg, which is 30th in the league.
Dolphins Can’t Solve Jets’ Defense
The Miami Dolphins lost QB Ryan Tannehill before the season began and many felt their season was over, but then they picked up Jay Cutler and he looked good in their preseason game against the Eagles. That gave them hope for the season. Well, that hope seems gone now after they fell to the jest in their last game by a score of 20-6. The offense has really looked bad in the early going this year and they had just 225 yards in their loss to the Jets. Cutler hit 26 of 44 passes for 220 yards with a TD and an INT in the game. He has now thrown for just 450 yards on the year and has a QBR of just 83.8. Jay Ajayi ran for 1272 yards last year and he had 122 yards in their opening win against the Chargers, but the Jets completely shut him down as he had just 16 yards on 11 carries in the loss. The defense didn’t have a great showing in the game as they allowed 103 yards rushing and 233 yards passing to perhaps the worst offense in the league. If they struggled against the Jets, then facing the Saints high-powered attack will be no picnic for them, especially since Josh McCown hit 18 of 23 passes for 249 yards and a TD against them. If they can’t slow down the offense of the Saints, then they will be in trouble as they may not have enough offense to outscore them.
Miami enters this contest ranked 28th in the league in total offense (280.5 ypg), 21st in passing (210.0 ypg), 28th in rushing (70.5 ypg) and 30th in scoring at 12.5 ppg. On defense, they come in ranked 25th in total yards allowed (351.5 ypg), 28th against the pass (278.0 ypg) and 5th vs the run (73.5 ypg), while allowing just 18.5 ppg, which is 6th in the league.
New Orleans is:
- 10-1 ATS in their last 11 games in October
- 7-1 ATS in their last eight games on grass
- 4-11 ATS in their last 15 games after scoring less than 15 points in their previous game
- 1-6 ATS in their last seven games after accumulating less than 250 total yards in their previous game
This game will be played overseas and this is a big game for both teams, especially for the Saints, who are looking to get back to .500 for the year, after a 0-2 start. Miami looked horrible on offense in their loss to the Jets and their defense struggled against Josh McCown. Now they take on one of the best QBs in this league and a New Orleans offense that has looked very good so far. The Saints just took out the Panthers on the road, so they are playing with some confidence right now, while the Dolphins have to be questioning themselves after losing 20-6 to the Jets. The Dolphins struggled against the pass in the preseason and that has carried over to the regular, so they don’t really have that big of an edge on defense, while the Saints have a huge edge on offense, especially with Brees over Cutler. I look for the Saints to build off of last weeks road win over Carolina and take this one by at least seven points.
Pick: New Orleans -3
Last week in London, the Jags and Ravens combined for 51 points. Can this one do the same. The Miami offense has not looked good at all in the early going, while their pass defense has been bad through two games. Jay Cutler is not a horrible QB, but he is not great either and I don’t see him having a good game in this one, even though it is against a poor Saints defense. The Saints have an explosive offense and Miami has struggled to defend the pass, but I see them coming up with enough stops on that side of the ball to keep this game from reaching 50 points, especially since the Fish will look to get their run game in hopes of keeping that saints offense on the sidelines and that will eat clock. The clincher is the fact that the Under is 7-1 in New Orleans’ last eight games following a straight up win of more than 14 points.