New Orleans Saints vs. Washington Redskins
The New Orleans Saints and the Washington Redskins start their 2012 NFL seasons as they face off in New Orleans on Sunday. The Saints are -8.5 point favorites over the Redskins with an over/under point total set at 50.5.
It was a turbulent year off of the field in New Orleans as the Saints were hit with suspensions but on the field the Saints are loaded with talent and are thinking Super Bowl. While some of the news off of the field was bad, the good news is the Saints inked Drew Brees to a new contract as he is simply one of the best passers in the history of the NFL. Brees has a loaded backfield with PierreThomas, Darren Sproles, and Mark Ingram all doing things a little differently but all being effective. Marques Colston and Devry Henderson are the Saints primary receivers but tight end Jimmy Graham is Brees’ favorite target. The O-Line doesn’t get a lot of ink but they are a good reason for the way the New Orleans offense runs as well as it does. Defensively when the Saints have been at their best when they are creating turnovers and while it will be tough to ever duplicate their defensive touchdown totals from their Super Bowl year, the Saints defense will need to play better to beat the better teams. With Will Smith out for this one Cameron Jordan will need to step up but the middle of the Saints’ defensive line is strong with Broderick Bunkley and Sedrick Ellis. Curtis Lofton comes over from the Falcons to fill in at MLB where Jonathan Vilma is suspended but the linebackers are solid. The Saints’ secondary has been magical at times but got beat several times last year but Patrick Robinson is an upgrade at corner and while Jabari Greer, Malcolm Jenkins, and Roman Harper are all capable of big things.
The Washington Redskins have been in the building process since Mike Shanahan took over as Head Coach but now they are thinking it is time to start winning. The biggest new for the Redskins this offseason was the drafting of Heisman Trophy winning QB Robert Griffin III and while the skins may have given up a ton to get him they are thinking they have found their key to success. Washington will try and take pressure off of RG3 by running the ball with Alfred Morris, Evan Royster, and Roy Helu but Trent Williams and the line will need to play better than they have in the past. Pierre Garcon was added to the receiving group with the always steady and sometimes spectacular Santana Moss and Fred Davis will surely see plenty of action at tight end. Defensively the Redskins have some stars as Ryan Kerrigan seems to always make plays, London Fletcher is a tackling machine, and Brian Orakpo has to always be accounted for. Barry Cofield and Adam Carriker anchor the defensive line in the Skins 3-4 but there are some question marks in the secondary where the suddenly well-travelled Brandon Merriweather steps in at safety but DeAngelo Hall and Josh Wilson are playmaking corners. While Griffin is still a rookie the expectations are still there for the Washington Redskins.
New Orleans is 9-1 against the spread in their last 10 games, 8-1 against the spread in their last nine games against NFC teams, and 5-2 against the spread in their last seven season openers. Washington is 4-1 against the spread in their last five games on field turf and the over is 5-1-1 in their last seven games.
The total here is set and 50.5 and that looks to be a little on the high side as the defenses on both sides are good.