New England Patriots vs. New Orleans Saints
The New England Patriots and the New Orleans Saints meet on Thursday in NFL Preseason Football action. The Patriots are -2.5 point favorites over the Saints with an over/under point total set at 40.
Last season ended in disappointment for the Patriots and this season they will surely be focused on getting back to the Super Bowl but emerging as the winner. Tom Brady is back but the clock is ticking on the future Hall of Famer but with Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallett the only other QB’s in camp there is little mystery on this team as to who makes it. In the backfield Steven Ridely is the new starter with Danny Woodhead, Shane Vereen, and Branden Bolden all looking for more chances to show what they can do. Brandon Lloyd is the new guy in town for the Patriots in the receiving corps and with Wes Welker Deion Branch, Jabar Gaffney, Julian Edelman they should be the main unit though Jeremy Ebert is a rookie who looks like he will be a nice fit with the New England system. Rob Gronkowski was the best tight end in football last season and with Aaron Hernandez and Visanthe Shiancoe the Pats are loaded. Logan Mankins and Sebastian Vollmer are on the PUP so the Patriots will need help on the O-Line. Defensively New England knew they had a lot of gaps to fill as they went all defense in the NFL Draft and they will look for Chandler Jones and Donta’ Hightower to contribute immediately. The Pats defense was just about the worst in the NFL last season and the secondary wasn’t good though with Devin McCourty, Kyle Arrington and a healthy Patrick Chung it will be tough for them to not be better. Jermaine Cunningham and Jerrod Mayo will be counted on to wreak some havoc if there isn’t a big pass rush it could be a long year for the New England defense.
The New Orleans Saints are playing in their second game of the preseason after beating the Cardinals in the Hall of Fame game. Drew Brees played just one series on Sunday but it ended with a touchdown as Chase Daniel and Sean Canfield saw the bulk of the action. Daniel still looks jittery in the pocket taking off a few times and getting sacked twice. Mark Ingram had a TD run, Darren Sproles had one carry for 11 yards and Pierre Thomas got the start but Chris Ivory was unimpressive averaging just 1.4 yards per carry while Joe Banyard averaged 3.6 yards on his five carries. Travaris Cadet led the Saints with eight catches for 80 yards and a touchdown and Courtney Roby and Andy Tanner had four catches each. Defensively Tyrunn Walker and Corey White had five tackle each But Lawrence Wilson was the star with three tackles and a game saving interception. I expect the starters to see a lot more action this week.
One thing we should take into account is that these teams will be scrimmaging against one another all week so there will be a familiarity. The Patriots need work on defense and probably let those players play more and that should give them an edge in this one.
New England Patriots -2.5 New Orleans Saints