|GAME TIME||1:00 PM EST|
|LOCATION||New Orleans, LA|
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS KEY PLAYER: The Defense
Not one single player, but the defense as a whole needs to step up if the Saints want a chance to win this game. A week ago, the Saints defense proved unable to stop Sam Bradford. While some may argue that Bradford is underrated, there is no question that he is not in the top 10 quarterbacks in the league. Yet, if the Saints defense can make Bradford look like an All-Pro, then Tom Brady should be unstoppable. The defense does not need to be perfect, but forcing stops on 3rd down and maybe a turnover or two will could swing the game in New Orleans favor.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS KEY PLAYER: Tom Brady
It is easy to pencil in the quarterback of a team as a key player to victory, yet the Patriots need Tom Brady to return to form. In Week One, the league was shocked when the already fearsome Patriots were toppled by the Chiefs. While there are many reasons the Patriots lost, two key factors were below average (abysmal) play by Tom Brady and a weak defense. It will be hard for the Patriots defense to step up if Dont’a Hightower does not play, which means we put our faith in TB12. To be fair, that is not really a something to be worried about. We all know what can happen if Brady gets rolling. Against a defense as weak as the Saints, expect Brady to have a huge game.
GAME PREVIEW AND ANALYSIS
As previously discussed, both defenses are porous at best. Unless one of the two defenses step up, we could be in for a shootout in the Superdome. While Drew Brees and Tom Brady are both a bit on the older side, there is still no question that these guys can sling the football around.
With that being said, the Patriots still have a pair of elite cornerbacks by the names of Malcolm Butler and Stephon Gilmore. So even though the air game should be rolling, expect Drew Brees to stay away from the pair defensive backs. Instead, Brees might focus on his tight end Coby Fleener who is a capable player. With 3 hungry running backs, including a frustrated Adrian Peterson, the Saints may choose to keep the ground game rolling as well to keep the Patriots defense honest. Especially so after the Patriots defense proved unable to stop rookie Kareem Hunt on the ground.
On the other hand, expect the Patriots defense to exploit the Saints weak defense through the air. Coming off of a less than impressive Week One, Brady will be looking to be more in sync with his receivers this time around.
Former Saint Brandin Cooks can be a player to watch. Everyone wants to show up against their former team and Cooks has that opportunity. Cooks is explosive and has the skills to be a top 10 receiver in the league, especially if he develops a connection with TB12.
Expect a high-speed game with lots of scoring. The Patriots defense is a bit better than the Saints defense, so I predict the Patriots to come out on top against Breezus and Company.