New England at New Orleans
Time: NOON (CT), CBS
Spread: NE -7
Odds c/o 5dimes
The New England Patriots began the season in unexpected fashion with a 42-27 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs are an outstanding football team, and New England suffers no loss of face, even if Tom Brady did have a marked and rare off game in Week 1. The Patriots hope to rebound on the road this week in New Orleans where they face the Saints as 7-point favorites. The game will air at Noon (Central time) on CBS and the over/under is set pretty high at 57 points.
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Brady was uncharacteristically poor in the opener as he threw just 16 of 36 for 267 yards with no TD passes while incurring three sacks for a total lossage of 20 yards. The Patriots were not overly effective via the rush, either, picking up 124 yards on 35 attempts, with Mike Gillislee both leading the team in yardage (45) and scoring all three of its touchdowns. Danny Amendola caught 6 of 7 targeted passes for 100 yards, including a long catch of 27-yards, and Brandin Cooks had 88 yards on three catches, but he missed four targeted passes, as Brady did have 20 incompletions in one of his worst outings in memory.
The Chiefs’ defense was high-pressure and his throws looked rushed the majority of the game, and it also showed up in the three sacks. If we know nothing else of the Pats, though, it is that the team is strong enough to bounce back from a rough loss. NFL Oddsmakers show similar confidence in setting the line one-touchdown in favor of Brady and company. The Patriots’ defense also had no answers for Kareem Hunt, who appears to be a sneaky sensation as a third round pick in the draft. Brady said, “I think we need to have more urgency and go out there and perform a lot better…we had it handed to us on our own field.”
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Brady became the 13th NFL quarterback to start a game at age 40, and it would certainly be part of the overreaction committee to pass too much judgement on one tough game, particularly in the season opener. Brady threw for 3,554 yards last season and he had topped 4,000 yards in the five years consecutive prior to that. He has thrown above 60 percent completion ratio his entire career, and last season the only reason he failed to top 4,000 yards was due to the fact he missed four games with the early-season suspension. The Chiefs got the best of Brady, but what can the Saints do to replicate that success?
New Orleans lost 19-29 to the Minnesota Vikings in Week 1, and the Saints let Drew Brees have his way. Brees threw for 284 yards on 27 of 37 passing with a TD, and the Saints were able to get 13 points from kicker Wil Lutz. Lutz went 4 of 4 on field goals, including a 43-yarder and hit his only extra point, as the hero of Week 1. Brees was able to advance the football well, but the Saints continually fell shy of the end zone with Lutz there to bail them out.
The Saints did struggle containing Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford, who threw for 346 yards on 27 of 32 passing with three touchdowns. Dalvin Cook also had a big game rushing the ball with 127 yards on 22 carries. Given the success of the Vikings’ offense on New Orleans, could it be that New England is able to bring its offense back out of the dumpster and back to legendary levels within a week? It is tough to bet against, in some respects, actually.