Saints face a surging Cardinals team

Previewing Saints vs. Cardinals

Kristian Garic
October 25, 2019 - 3:37 pm

The Saints (6-1) face the Cardinals (3-3-1) Sunday in a noon kickoff at home in the Mercedes Benz Superdome. The Cardinals have won three straight games and could prove to be a dangerous team. It is worth pointing out, however, that Arizona’s three wins have come against teams with a combined 3-18 record. So just how good are the Cardinals? We’ll find out soon enough.

The Saints confidence is sky high having won five straight games without QB Drew Brees. The Hall of Fame quarterback could return this week, and that would certainly boost an already supremely confident and talented Saints team.

Saints offensive game plan: Protecting the quarterback (Brees or Teddy Bridgewater) will be a challenge against the Cardinals. Defensive end Chandler Jones has tallied 8.5 sacks through seven games this season. His counterpart on the other end, Terrell Suggs, has 5 sacks this season. The Saints have already shut down two really elite pass rusher this year in J.J Watt and Khalil Mack. Sean Payton and company will have a plan for the Arizona's pass rush duo.

The Cardinals are getting CB Patrick Peterson back in the secondary this week. Arizona welcomes his return, as they're ranked 25th in the NFL against the pass, giving up 263 yards per game. Believe it or not that’s really not the weakness of the Cards defense. The Redbirds are giving up 129 yards per game on the ground. Yikes! Not good when going against a Saints offensive line that can absolutely maul guys up front. I expect the Saints to try and get the ground game going early and slow down the Cardinals pass rush.

Saints defensive game plan: Arizona’s head coach and offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury comes from the offensive school of “go fast”. What do I mean? The Cardinals offense breaks the huddle quickly.  Rookie QB Kyler Murray gets the offense set at the line, and Kingsbury gives Murray the play he wants to run.

Ever wonder how much fans can truly impact a team? You can get that answer this week.

With the Cardinals in the huddle and at the line of scrimmage tremendous crowd noise can really hamper their ability to go fast. I would expect the Saints defense to try and keep Murray in the pocket and collapse the pocket from the interior of the defensive line. When Saints pass rushers can’t get to Murray, look for the defensive lineman to get their hands up to try and obstruct his vision. The Heisman Trophy-winning Murray checks in at 5'9. The Cardinals are also likely to be without running back David Johnson, who is still nursing an ankle injury.

Prediction: Drew Brees or no Drew Brees, the Saints are flat out better than Arizona, and it’s not even close. The Cardinals are double digit underdogs against the Saints, and betting against the Saints in the month of October is a very bad idea. Over the last four seasons, the Saints are 16-0 against the spread. With that said the Saints roll in this one over the Cardinals 34-13. The Saints will head into the bye week 7-1 in great shape for the second half of the season.

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