New England Patriots (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS) vs. New Orleans Saints (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS)
NFL Week 2
Date/Time: Sunday, September 17, 2017 at 1PM EST
Where: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana
by Scott, Expert Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: NE -7/NO +7
Over/Under Total: 54
The New England Patriots come to the Superdome to face the New Orleans Saints in a high-stakes week two matchup. The Patriots fell to the Chiefs last Thursday and have extra time to get ready for a road game where another misstep would take the defending Super Bowl champs to 0-2. New Orleans had plans of their own this season and after a MNF loss to the Vikings in week one, they look for a positive home-opener this week.
The Saints were competitive for about 1.5 quarters against the Vikings on Monday. Their offense found it hard to move the ball against the tough Vikings defense. And with Minnesota winning the line-of-scrimmage battle on offense, the defense had few answers in their season debut. All told, it was a rough start to the season for the Saints. Down 29-12 late, Brees threw a late TD, but it was still a comprehensive loss for New Orleans.
The Saints offense is a bit handcuffed by injuries, a bad problem to already have this early in the season. WR Willie Snead, who would really be helpful with Brandin Cooks now on their opponents team, is out with a 4-game suspension. Left tackle Terron Armstead missed the first game, with Zach Strief going down at right tackle early in the game. Its an O-line that sometimes struggles in ideal conditions that can ill afford personnel losses. In his first game as a Saint, Adrian Peterson made little impact in his first game, nor did Mark Ingram.
Still, the offense has hope. Armstead and Strief could be back this week and Snead will be back in a few weeks too. The defense is another issue. To make Minnesota look like one of the best offenses in the league is a tough pill to swallow. The New Orleans front was dominated by the Minnesota offensive line. There was no pressure on Sam Bradford, as he was allowed to dissect the Saints D. Rookie back Dalvin Cook looked like a top back against this bunch in what was an all-around tough night for the Saints defense. If the Saints continue to get banged around on both lines of scrimmage, things will get worse before they get better. This is supposed to be a critical crossroads season for the Saints, but you can only do so much when the personnel wont cooperate.
Things were looking good for the Pats on Thursday. They jumped out to a 10-0 lead and things were going the Pats way. But then Kansas City started rolling out some big playmakers in the form of rookie Kareem Hunt and Tyreek Hill en route to dominating the second half, with the Pats unable to keep pace late. A few guys on defense got banged up and Danny Amendola, who had been having a great game, left the game with a concussion. He will be out indefinitely. It was a costly loss for the Patriots.
Tom Brady looked a little erratic, on 16-for-36 passing with no touchdown passes. They should still be okay when he gets on a roll. The run-game looked good in spots, especially in-tight where Mike Gillislee running for three touchdowns. They are deep in the backfield with Gillislee, James White, Dion Lewis, and Rex Burkhead. Some different New England receivers who were subdued in week one should begin to surface this weekguys like Brandin Cooks, Chris Hogan, and of course, star tight end Rob Gronkowski. But promising Malcolm Mitchell, along with Amendola and Edelman are already out of action and they lost a lot of the depth we thought they would have this season. One thing that is still intact is a top-notch offensive line that lets Brady operate coolly in the pocket.
Expect better from the New England defense this week. When on-point, they can take away a teams top threats. On Sunday, guys were hitting the floor with injuries and by the end, the Pats defense was a bit battered. The long week really comes in handy this week. New Orleans, especially at home and with their backs against the wall, can still produce on offense. Giving up 537 yards in week one was a bad sign for the New England defense, but look for coaching, the healing quality of time, and urgency to give way to better results this week.
The Saints might have the urgency. They may have made some moves to fortify the defense. Jobs are on the line this year. But at some point, health is a big issue. Personnel losses add up and before you know it, youre not the same team. Granted, the Patriots are a little out of their element in the Superdome, but I see a lot of urgency resonating and the simply better team pulling away for the cover.
Scott’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Im betting on the New England Patriots minus 7 points. *** Bet your Pats/Saints pick using your credit card at an online bookie where it WILL work for deposits and where you’ll receive a generous 100% signup bonus on your first deposit of $100 to $250! (Example: Deposit $250 and they’ll give you an extra $250 FREE!) Find this great offer at Bovada Sportsbook.