New England Patriots
New Orleans Saints
By Jason Green
Obviously the defending champion Patriots are not in panic mode after losing their first Game of the season. However, they have to be a little concerned since they were torched by Alex Smith and in this Game face Drew Brees. New England gave up 42 points in their season opener and while Tom Brady did not have a bad Game he was well outplayed by Smith.
The Saints lost their season opener to the Minnesota Vikings where Brees was kept out of the end zone until well into the 4th quarter. He did not get much help from the run Game and the secondary really struggled. No matter the Pats or the Saints will be looking at an 0-2 hole after this Game, which is far from an ideal start to the 2017 season.
These teams met last in the 2013 season in New England where the Patriots beat the Saints 30-27.
In their season opener the Patriots lost to the Chiefs 42-27 where New England’s defense was shredded giving up 537 yards. They gave up over 350 passing yards and 185 rushing yards and the pass defense will be tested in this Game by Brees. Brady was 16 for 36 for 267 yards and while he did not have an INT he also did not pass for a TD. Danny Amendola had 100 receiving yards and newcomer Brandin Cook had 88, but Brady needs to get the Pats in the end zone. New England did rush for 124 yards, but Mike Gillislee did not have the best debut for his new team being the lead rusher going for 45 yards and only averaging three yards per carry.
Brady and company will be facing a New Orleans defense that gave up 470 yards (341 passing yards 129 rushing yards) in losing their season opener.
The Saints lost to the Vikings 29-19 in their season opener where they only managed nine points in the first three quarters. Brees passed for 291 yards, but only had one TD and he did not get much help from the run Game with New Orleans only rushing for 60 yards. Adrian Peterson’s return to the LAnd of 10,000 LAkes was not a good one rushing for only 18 yards. Brees did spread the wealth, as five players had at least 45 receiving yards and the New England secondary must play better than they did against the Chiefs or Brady may have to light up the scoreboard to get the W.
Key Betting Trends
The Patriots are 8-1 ATS in their last 9 road Games, 5-1 ATS vs. a team with a losing record, and in their last 5 Games the Over record is 5-0.
The Saints are 7-0 ATS vs. a team with a losing record, 10-4 ATS in their last 14 Games overall, and in their last 4 gams the Over record is 4-0.
The home team is 4-1 ATS in the last 5 Games between these teams.
Jason’s Pick: The Pats’ pass D is a concern, but Brady and Bill Belichick will come up with a good Game plan. Brady and company were not impressive in their opening Game, but they will be in this Game, as they will win in the Big Easy, cover the spread, and send the Saints to 0-2 on the young season.