Drew Brees vs. Peyton Manning, that’s all I really need to say to get your attention. In what should be one of the more entertaining games of the year, the New Orleans Saints will travel to the Mile High for a Sunday night date with the Broncos. Both teams are underachieving, and they know it. Many people figured that the Saints defense was going to be in a little disarray after that offseason, but it has been an absolute nightmare for the franchise. Brees has done his best to keep them together; however, the high powered offense just isn’t enough to make up for the play on the defensive side of the ball. The Saints will look to move to 3-4 with a victory over the Broncos. Another storyline in the offseason was the health of Peyton Manning. Manning has played solid, but there still seems to be an issue with arm strength. The Broncos and Manning are fresh off a bye week, so they should come out with a lot of energy at home on SNF.
Before the bye week, Manning was honored with the AFC Offensive Player of the Week award after scorching the San Diego Chargers defense for 309 yards on 24-30 passing with 3 touchdowns. The Broncos captured the victory, 35-24, on MNF before entering their bye. It will be consecutive weeks that the Broncos will be showcased in a primetime game. There doesn’t appear to be any problems with Manning’s arm if you look at his numbers. He has an impressive 105 QB rating with 1808 yards passing and 14 touchdowns. Manning also averages 301.3 yards a game which is a terrific feat. I have noted in previous articles that Manning should improve as the season progresses. I think developing a rapport with some of his new targets was key. So as the Broncos move past the bye week, I believe we are going to start to see a more cohesive offense. Perhaps the kind of offense we saw in week 6 against the Chargers. The Broncos passing game is 4th in the NFL and the overall offense is in 6th. With those impressive numbers it easy to see why they score an average of 28.3 points per game.
Without saying, the Saints defense could be in trouble against Manning on the road. I’m sure Manning has been licking his chops watching film of this dysfunctional bunch. With their leader, and best defensive player out in Jonathan Vilma, the Saints defense has been hapless. It doesn’t matter if it’s an elite quarterback or lower tier, it is a safe bet they are going to get throttled. They rank dead last in the NFL with regards to total team defense, allowing a whopping 465 yards per game and just over 30 points. The Saints defense is bad in all facets of the game, ranked 31st defending the run and 30th against the pass. It would be quite surprising if Peyton Manning doesn’t put up monster numbers in this spot.
Thankfully the Saints have an offense, though, or this would be a winless team without a doubt. While the offense is a train wreck, Brees continues to pile up the stats without any signs of slowing down. They are just a sliver behind the Giants with 411.3 yards per game overall. Brees and the Saints passing game is leading the league with 335 yards per game. The offense in total puts up 29.3 points on average a game. The Broncos will try and counter Brees with their 10th ranked pass defense. There are definitely holes that can be exploited in the Broncos defense, and Brees is the type of quarterback that will expose those weaknesses.
Saints vs. Broncos Spread and Betting Odds:
New Orleans Saints +6 (-105)
@Denver Broncos -6 (-115)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Giants vs. Cowboys Pick:
I opened this article noting that this could be one of the more entertaining games of the year, so that could be an indication what I’m leaning right away. What we have here is two of the most prolific offenses in the NFL, the Broncos are ranked 6th in the NFL in total offense and the Saints are 3rd, 1st in passing. At this point, I believe the Jacksonville Jaguars could do some damage against the Saints defense. They have not held a team under 20 points thus far, including 24 points against the dysfunctional Kansas City Chiefs.
I do not expect the Broncos defense to do slow Brees and company down either. I think it takes an elite defense to disrupt the Saints offense. The Broncos well gladly accept the news of Jimmy Graham as being questionable, currently a game time decision. However, I think this game is going to be pass fest from start to finish. Manning should torch the Saints defense with ease, making the Saints air it out with great regularity as well. Take the over in which should be a good one to watch for fans.
PICK = OVER 54.5