Game of the Week: New Orleans Saints at Denver Broncos
Two of the league’s most powerful offenses face off in the Mile High city on Sunday night in a prime-time matchup. The popularity of each of these teams makes this game “The Game of Week”, although neither of these teams currently possesses a winning record (Denver 3-3, New Orleans 2-4).
Slowly but surely this Denver offense has made it’s way into becoming one of the league’s best passing attacks. At the helm, you have one of the best quarterbacks of all-time, Peyton Manning, who with a new offense and new weapons around him, has found it difficult to have a good start during games. The Bronco offense has only scored one touchdown total in the first quarter of their first six games. Due to this, they are normally put into a hole that they have to dig themselves out of. Will their bye-week help them find their offensive ways early in games and help keep themselves toe-to-toe with the Saints offense?
Entering this matchup, the Denver D ranks tenth in pass defense, allowing only 215.3 yards per game, but they rank a porous 18th in run defense, and it showed as they got run over by both Arian Foster and Steven Ridely, with both rushers running for over 105 yards. Only bonus here is that the Saints rank last in the league as they have the worst run game in the NFL. Linebacker Von Miller leads the Broncos with six sacks, which ranks him eighth in the league for that category. Can he and the rest of the Denver defense disrupt Drew Brees and they did Phillip Rivers two weeks ago and help lead the Broncos to a victory?
New Orleans Offense
Even without their Pro Bowl tight end, the Saints offense didn’t sputter once whilst scoring five touchdowns against Tampa Bay last week. Drew Brees, their quarterback, was on his A-game as he threw for four touchdowns two of which went for 20+ yards. With Jimmy Graham back at practice this week, Drew Brees should have all his weapons at his disposal. With 21 total touchdowns, the New Orleans offense is clicking and although their running game is dreadful, their passing game makes up for it.
New Orleans Defense
Let’s be blunt, this defense can’t stop the run. They allow an average of 161 rushing yards per game, and by allowing 304.5 passing yards per game, their pass defense is not much better. This is their fatal flaw. Their offense is superior to many in the league, but since their defense is so terribly bad, this prime-time matchup will end up being high scoring. With Peyton getting back to his old-self, the 400+ passing yards they allowed last week may end up repeating itself this Sunday night.
Prediction: This game could easily go either way, especially since both of these offenses can score points at will. But since Denver is playing at home, and the Saints defense is horrendous, I give the edge to the Broncos, 31-28.