New Orleans Saints vs. Miami Dolphins Preview
Where: Wembley Stadium – London, England
When: Sunday, October 1st, 9:30am
TV Broadcast: Yahoo
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- 2017 NFL Week 4 Picks and Predictions
Betting on the New Orleans Saints (1-2)
The New Orleans Saints will be that team that fights for a wild card spot and likely finishes the year near the middle of the pack. Is it a little early to make this assumption? Probably. It looks like the story has already been written for them though. They can’t seem to compete with quality teams but can still stomp on weaker opponents. Kind of the story of their last five years.
Drew Brees still has a cannon and is one of the best quarterbacks in the league. That much we know. Outside of Brees, though, they’re a team still looking for an identity. Adrian Peterson picked up a lot of hype this offseason, but has been a total non-factor with 8-9 carries per game. Mark Ingram has had a mediocre start and still hasn’t been able to post over 100 yards in a game on the ground. While on defense, the team ranks second-last in the league having already given up 1313 yards through three games.
For New Orleans to beat Miami this week, they’ll truly need to find a better way to attack on offense, but their D will be the x-factor. Last week the New York Jets, yes the New York Jets, took out Miami with ease. In fact, until the final play of the game, they had shutout the Dolphins through four quarters. The Saints will need to rely on their defense to step up in this one. Jay Cutler is an okay quarterback, but Jay Ajayi will be the difference maker.
New Orleans currently ranks 30th in Passing Yards per game on D, giving up an average of 311.0 per week and 24th against the run surrendering 380 yards. If they can find a way to harness a solid zone blitz and play tight against the long ball and cautious against Ajayi on the ground, they’ve got a great shot at winning this game.
Betting on the Miami Dolphins (1-1)
The Miami Dolphins, thus far, are a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde story. They walked into Los Angeles and suffocated the Chargers in their first game, walking away with a great defensive effort and big win. However, they followed up that victory with an embarrassing 20-6 loss to the New York Jets in week 3. The team needs to find their headline player(s) and against Drew Brees, they’ll need to find them quickly.
Yes, hands down, their defense will have to be better right off the bat. Brees is king of the long ball and will hurt this young Dolphins secondary if given the chance. The team will need to compliment a strong defensive outing with some great ground work too. The world isn’t sure just yet if they can trust smoking Jay Cutler, so let’s focus on their run game in week 4.
Ajayi had a down week against the Jets, but will be walking into a luxurious penthouse suite of a matchup this Sunday in London. As mentioned, the Saints run defense is one of the worst on turf. If Ajayi can find his legs early, which is not always a given, he can make the Saints pay. It’ll all be on his shoulders in this game. If the Dolphins can establish a ground game, they’ve got a great shot at a Wembley win. If they can’t, well, expect Drew Brees to make them pay.
Jay Ajayi impresses his hometown fans. Dolphins (+125) with the upset win 27-17.
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