Saints' sins should make them big Week 4 dogs
The NFL is a cold and lonely place for teams going zero-for-September, and that’s the pickle that the New Orleans Saints are currently in.
New Orleans’s stunning loss at home to Kansas City on Sunday left the new “Aint’s” 0-3 SU, 0-3 against the spread and 0-2 at home. The road back to even mediocrity doesn’t get easier.
There’s no line out yet as of Monday, but New Orleans figures to be a significant dog when it travels to Green Bay this weekend (The Sports Clubs, a Nevada-based odds service suggests Packers -7). The Saints return home in Week 5 (San Diego), and it’s possible that they will be getting points in the Superdome for the first time since the final game of the 2008 season (Chargers -1).
New Orleans can’t move the ball with the same swagger as it has in the last three years, but the real problem is defense. Incredibly, the Saints are dead last in the league in yards allowed. Stopping the run is a real issue (Kansas City’s Jamaal Charles coasted for 233 yards Sunday), and they’re not a heck of a lot better against the pass. Because they can’t get off the field on third down, their cumulative three-game time of possession numbers are horrid (140-76).
“This is a team that is used to laying big numbers at the Superdome,” says Covers Expert Bryan Power. “Last season they went 9-0 SU and ATS there (including one playoff game), and clearly they are going to have to give back some as oddsmakers make a major adjustment.”
Power speculates that the absence of head coach Sean Payton due to “Bountygate” penalties may have had a major impact on Drew Brees, who has fallen to 25th in the league in QB rating (77.0) after finishing second last year, 12th in 2010 and first in 2009. “Brees,” points out Power, “was pretty average before hooking up with Payton.”
Brees, for his part, vows to turn things around but won’t say exactly how or what the rest of the season holds for the 2010 Super Bowl winners. But whatever happens, the post-Katrina glow is definitely off the rose in New Orleans, and it might be time for bettors to look elsewhere.