New England Patriots (0-1 SU, 0-1-0 PS, 1-0-0 O/U) vs New Orleans Saints (0-1 SU, 0-1-0 PS, 1-0-0 O/U)
When: 1:00 PM EDT, Sunday, September 17, 2017
Where: Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana
Lines: New England -7
NFL action, inter-conference style, this afternoon as the New England Patriots travel to Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana to battle it out with the New Orleans Saints. The Saints come in off a 29-19 loss at Minnesota, while the Patriots were crushed at home 42-27 by the Chiefs. These teams last met in 2013 (at New England) and the Patriots won that game by a score of 30-27.
Patriots Embarrassed At Home By The Chiefs
All that talk in the offseason and preseason about the Patriots going undefeated this year has just gone by the wayside as they fell in their opener at home to the Kansas City Chiefs. The Pats were as high as nine point favorites at times leading up to the game and it was close at the half and the Pats has a 27-21 lead at the start of the 4th quarter, but the Chiefs then scored 21 unanswered points to walk away with the 15 point road win. Kansas City did that on the top scoring defense in the league last year and it was also the most points that the Pts have allowed in a game in the Bill Belichick era. The Chiefs put up 537 yards of total offense, including 352 yards through the air as they just could not handle the downfield passing of Alex Smith. He hasn’t really shown that he can do that much in his career, so the Pats were a bit surprised.
The offense for the Pats was decent as they put 371 yards of total offense, but just 247 yards through the air. The fans were calling for Tom Brady to be benched after this game as he hit just 16 of 36 passes for 267 yards and no TDs. It was a very bad game for one of the best QBs in the history of the league. He will bounce back and now gets to take aim at a New Orleans defense that was just carved up by Sam Bradford and the Minnesota Vikings. Mike Gillislee had a big game as he ran for three TDs, despite having just 45 yards rushing in the game. He was the lone bright spot on a bad night for the Patriots.
Same Old Defense For The Saints
The New Orleans Saints have had their struggles on the defensive side of the ball the last few years and it has been that defense that has been responsible for them finishing 7-9 for three years in a row. Well, the defense looked good at times in the preseason, but it did not look good in their 29-19 loss to the Vikings on Monday night. The Vikings are not known as a passing team, but they rolled up 341 yards through the air on this defense. That defense allowed 274 ypg passing last year and it hasn’t improved, which is not very good news as they are about to face an angry Tom Brady off a bad effort at home. The Saints could be in big trouble in this game, especially since they also allowed 129 yards rushing to the Vikings. It was a bad opening night for a Saints team that has high hopes for this year.
The Saints will again be led by their offense and Drew Brees. It took a while to get going, but they did eventually start to move the ball. The Saints had just 60 yards rushing in the game, but they threw for 284 yards on a very tough defense. No matter what, Brees always seems to get his yards. He hit 27 of 37 passes for 291 yards and a TD. Adrian Peterson made his return to Minnesota and had just 18 yards rushing in the game as his former mates really bottled him up. This offense will be fine this year and it could have a good showing against a New England defense that had all sorts of troubles stopping Alex Smith on Thursday night, but still, until they fix their defense, they will continue to be just another mediocre team.
New England is:
- 16-3-2 ATS in their last 21 games after allowing more than 250 yards passing in their previous game
- 40-18-1 ATS in their last 59 games following a straight up loss
New Orleans is:
- 3-7-1 ATS in their last 11 home games vs. a team with a losing road record
- 1-4 ATS in their last five games in Week two
Both of these teams suffered bad losses in their openers. This could be a really bad spot for a Saints team that is playing on a short week and facing a Patriots team that is off an embarrassing home loss. Tom Brady had a real bad game and the fans are already calling for him to be benched. Wow. Brady and this offense will be just fine and Belichick will get things figured. Brady will now face a New Orleans team that was just carved up through the air by Sam Bradford of all players. Bradford was the most accurate passer in the league last year, but they were mostly short passes. On Monday night he hit plenty of long passes as well. With both teams coming off bad losses, I would rather back Brady and Belichick over Payton and Brees, especially since the Pats do have an edge on defense, even though it struggled in the 4th against the Chiefs. Take the Pats to win this one easily.
Pick: New England -7
The New England Patriots really showed that they will; miss Julian Edelman in their loss to the Chiefs last Thursday, while the Saints had a tough time generating much offense against a tough Minnesota offense in their opener. The Patriots still have a strong offense and they have now had the extra prep time to figure things out, plus you have to believe that Brady will come out firing as he looks to bounce back from a bad outing last week. It also helps that he will be facing a bad defense in this one. The Saints have an offense that is far better at home on their fast track that on the road and the New England defense had their problems stopping Alex Smith last week, especially late in the game and that shows the Pats have some depth issues on defense. This one should be a shootout.