(5-4, 5-4 ATS)
New Orleans Saints
(6-3, 4-5 ATS)
If the Seattle Seahawks want to prove that they are a legitimate playoff team that can make some noise when they get to the second season, they’ll put forth a fantastic effort on Sunday afternoon at the Louisiana Superdome. However, if the New Orleans Saints want to prove that they are ready to repeat as Super Bowl champs, this isn’t an NFL betting battle that should test them all that much.
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Things for the Seahawks improved quite a bit last week when they took a comfortable lead by their lonesome in the NFC West, a game up on the St. Louis Rams and two clear of the Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers. Last week was the team’s best offensive effort, as it put 36 points on the board via eight offensive scoring drives for a change. QB Matt Hasselbeck looked like a renewed man, throwing for 333 yards and a score, but he couldn’t have done any of it without WR Mike Williams. The former USC Trojan has been reunited with his old coach, HC Pete Carroll, and the results have been tremendous. Last week was just another reminder of how talented Williams really is, as he caught 11 passes for 145 yards. The secondary has to be shaking in its boots right now for Seattle, though. This ‘D’ is allowing 272.2 yards per game through the air, the fifth worst mark in the league coming into Week 11. If this number keeps up, odds have it, the Saints are going to march all over the Seahawks.
New Orleans has badly been missing a rushing game since both RB Pierre Thomas and RB Reggie Bush went out of the lineup. Though Thomas is still considered up in the air, Bush says that he is ready to go again off of the team’s bye week, and not a moment too soon. Another former USC Trojan would love to stick it to his old coach, but more importantly, he would love to keep his team in the race in the NFC South. A loss could leave New Orleans two games back of the Atlanta Falcons, who are also taking on an NFC West foe this week, the St. Louis Rams. QB Drew Brees isn’t putting up the same type of numbers this year that we are used to seeing, particularly when you talk about a dozen picks. However, his completion percentage of 69.7 percent, passing yards total of 2,587 yards through nine games, and 18 TDs are all right there. Do you realize that the Saints rank No. 3 in the NFL in total defense at 277.0 yards per game? Don’t seem all that shocked, as there have been a ton of scores against this team this year that are the fault either directly or indirectly of the defense and special teams.
We know that the Saints are ready to come alive again after their bye week, but giving a playoff team nearly two full touchdowns seems just a bit absurd. This is an important showdown for New Orleans to start a stretch of four straight very winnable games. They’ll get the job done, but it won’t be by more than ten.