Date/Time: November 3rd, 1:00 PM ET
Spread: New Orleans -5
Week 9 of the NFL season is here! With all of the games on the docket each and every week, we are going to be zeroing in on just one side or total that we think is the best of the bunch. Join us today, look at the game on Sunday, November 3rd between the New Orleans Saints and the New York Jets.
An easy winner last week, as we went after the Atlanta Falcons for the second week in a row and cashed in against them in both outings. Now, we’re back to .500 at 4-4 in our singular best play of the week, and we know that we deserved a lot better fortune than what we ended up with. Combined with our college plays of the week, we are a stunning 12-5 ATS thus far this year, a rock solid 71%. This week, we turn our attention to the site of the Super Bowl, MetLife Stadium, where the Jets are clearly in over their heads against the Saints as we see it.
Head Coach Rex Ryan makes no bones about the fact that he is a defensive coach, and he also doesn’t shy away from the fact that he spends a lot of his time with his defense. That said, he has a massive problem right now. He doesn’t have a second cornerback to pair with DB Antonio Cromartie.
Last week, this problem reared its ugly head in a bad way against the Cincinnati Bengals. DB Dee Milliner, the rookie from the Alabama Crimson Tide, was put on the bench to start the game, but regardless of who ended up on WR Marvin Jones, there was never a shot to defend him. Jones caught all eight of the passes that came his way, and four times he ended up in the end zone. Not only did QB Andy Dalton hook up with Jones for a 40+ yard completion, but he did so against Cromartie to WR AJ Green as well.
That’s the big problem for New York right now. Too many big plays allowed in the passing game. Enter: QB Drew Brees and the Saints, who were Johnny on the Spot with a pair of 40+ yard touchdowns last week to a secondary receiver, WR Kenny Stills.
What in the heck Cromartie is going to do in this game is beyond us. Will he be on the best weapon that New Orleans has, TE Jimmy Graham? Will he defend “Old Reliable,” WR Marques Colston? Or will he be on any of the other number of weapons that Brees has to throw the ball to? And does it matter?
It’s that last part that we are keen on. It doesn’t matter where Cromartie is. There’s no need to challenge him. New York is weak in the back end on the opposite side of Cromartie, and there isn’t a quarterback better at picking apart defenses all over the field than Brees.
But you might be asking why in the heck QB Tom Brady had two games where he completed less than half of his passes. It’s a valid question for sure, as Brady and Brees are both surefire future Hall of Famers. Here’s the difference this year: Brees can stretch the field. Brady doesn’t have the receivers that can get out there and run in space. It’s not even so much about hitting the big throw as much as it is having the ability to throw it. Brees takes his shots every single game, and his team already has 29 plays of 20+ yards thus far on the campaign, most of which have come from the passing game.
And then there are the obvious problems that New York has. QB Geno Smith is coming off of a horrid game against the Bengals, and it is anyone’s guess as to how well he is going to fare in this one, especially if he struggles early and the Jets’ fans get on his case. Remember that, for as well as Smith has played this year, he still has 13 INTs against just eight touchdown passes. All will not be forgotten for sure.
The ground game still doesn’t have a back that has put up even four yards per carry at this point, and the receivers, which are all banged up, just aren’t all that good.
On top of that, the New Orleans defense is a heck of a lot better than you might think. This unit is holding teams down to 17.1 points per game this year, fourth best in the NFL. Yes, the schedule has been relatively weak as well, but the truth of the matter is that this team has already shut down weapons like WR Roddy White, WR Julio Jones, WR Larry Fitzgerald, RB Matt Forte, WR Mike Wallace, and so many others thus far on the season. The Jets have no weapons of the sorts, and we have to think that they are going to be kept in the teens.
History really doesn’t matter all that much in this series, but when you go back and look at it, it’s all on New Orleans’ side. The Saints are 6-1 ATS and 5-2 SU since 1986 against the Jets, though the most recent game was in 2009.
What we much prefer is the idea of DC Rob Ryan picking apart his brother’s offense with a ferocious pass rush which is going to have Smith crying for his mommy on the sidelines for the second week in a row.
Remember that the Saints were one point away from covering against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers earlier in the season, and they were one first down on offense or one more play defensively from beating the Patriots SU as short underdogs. The Saints have scored at least 27 points in five straight games, and we think if they get there in this one, they’ll have this game covered with a score to spare.
Week 9 NFL Pick of the Week: New Orleans Saints -5
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.