New Orleans Saints
By Jason Green
The Saints missed out on the playoffs and this season they have high hopes even though their defense is suspect. Drew Brees put up HUGE numbers oNCe again and this season he may get some help with former Minnesota RB Adrian Peterson in the fold. Still, New Orleans only ranked 27th in the league last season on defense and Brees will have to carry the team with his arm again if they cannot keep teams from lighting up the scoreboard.
The Vikings are just the opposite of the Saints in that they have a great D, but the offense not so much. They ranked 3rd in the league last season on defense, but while Sam Bradford had a legit completion percentage (71.6%) he did not take many shots down the field and the rushing attack was not there.
In the preseason both the Saints and the Vikings were 2-2.
Brees passed for over 5,000 yards again last season for the 5th time in his career. Top WR Brandin Cooks is now with the Patriots, but rookie Michael Thomas (92 receptions, 1,137 yards and 9 TD) is taking over the top WR spot this season. Brees seems to get better with age and it will really help of Peterson has some GAs left in the tank. It will take a lot of pressure off the 38-year old QB if he and Mark Ingram can run the ball and Brees does not have to do it all.
Bradford was pretty good last season and he has WR Stefon Diggs, but the WR corps is still pretty thin and they GAve up 38 sacks. With Peterson gone rookie Dalvin Cook takes over as the lead RB and LAtavius Murray will also get their touches. The Vikings had the worst rushing team in the NFL last season and if that happens again the team is cooked, as Bradford is not Brees, as he cannot take over Games with his arm.
Minnesota took Cook in the 2nd round, as they did not have a first round pick. They also did not make many off-season moves and that may hurt them. Their D will have to really step up in this Game, especially their pass defense.
The Saints are 9-1 ATS in their last 10 road Games, 10-3 ATS in their last 13 Games overall, and in their last 11 Games in September they have an Over record of 8—3.
The Vikings are 22-7 ATS in their last 29 home Games, 1-8 ATS in their last 9 Monday Games, and in their last 6 Games in September they have an Under record of 5-1.
The favorite has covered the spread in 5 of the last 7 Games between these teams.
Jason’s Pick: This Game is all about Brees and the New Orleans offense facing the defense of Minnesota. This one is a tough pick. The Saints have covered the spread in nine of their last 10 road Games. Look for that trend to continue, as New Orleans may not leave the LAnd of 10,000 LAkes with a W, but they will cover the spread in what will be a close Game.