The New Orleans Saints look to bounce back from a disappointing effort against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last Sunday when they take on the Indianapolis Cots. When the schedule came out, this game was most likely circled as one of the bigger match-ups of the year, but that will not be the case.
Indianapolis has been without star quarterback Peyton Manning for the entire season as he recovers from neck surgery performed just before the season began. With Manning, the Colts have been a perennial playoff contender, but without him, the Colts are just an 0-6 team looking for its first win of the season.
New Orleans might not be at full strength either when Indy comes into town. Head coach Sean Payton was taken down on the sidelines last week and suffered a torn MCL and a broken kneecap. He will be coaching from an alternate location, or the press booth at best.
Losing a coach may not seem to be as bad as losing a quarterback, but Drew Brees struggled last week throwing three interceptions after Payton had to leave the game to tend to his injuries. It will be interesting to see how Brees and the Saints offense can rebound this week.
Why have the Colts struggled so far this season? Well, losing Manning was one part of it, but the bigger picture is that the Colts have a lot of flaws that Manning helped cover up. Their offensive line is iffy at best, and their defense is built around playing with a lead. Defensive end Dwight Freeney plays much better when the gameplan calls for simply rushing the quarterback all day.
Without Manning, the Colts are 28th in offense with just under 18 points a game and 28th in passing with just over 200 yards a game.
The one bright spot for the Colts offense is that Curtis Painter seems to have some skill after all. He has thrown 5 touchdowns compared to just 1 interception in his last three games starting. His favorite target right now seems to be Pierre Garcon, which might come as a disappointment to Reggie Wayne. Wayne publicly defended Painter after the Colts decided to sign Kerry Collins to replace Manning while he was hurt. Painter got the job after Collins suffered a concussion against Pittsburgh.
On the other end of the spectrum, the Saints are second in passing yards with 344 yards a game through the air and are sixth in points scored. The Saints offense is going to have a great shot at getting its offense back on track this week against the Colts. As long as the Saints offensive line can neutralize the speed of the Colts front seven, it should be a big week for Drew Brees and many happy fantasy owners as well.
The crowd noise will definitely be a factor as well. The fans in New Orleans can be very loud and are quite passionate about their team. While all road teams are at a disadvantage, the Colts have particularly struggled on the road. They were blown out in week one 34-7 at Houston and have not scored more than 17 points in a road game while going 0-3.
Meanwhile the Saints have been money at home this year going 2-0 and averaging 35 points a game. The indoor stadium and the perfect conditions play right into what Brees and company want to do. The only silver lining for Indy is that the Saints have also given up almost 24 points a game at home. Its possible Indianapolis could get things going on the road if Painter has a big game.
As it stands right now, the Saints are favored by two touchdowns over the Colts in their Monday night match-up at the Superdome according to the opening football betting lines.
|NFL OFFENSIVE RANKINGS||TOTAL||Passing||Rushing|
|NEW ORLEANS SAINTS||2||452.2||2||344.3||28||84.0|
|NFL DEFENSIVE RANKINGS||TOTAL||Passing||Rushing|
|NEW ORLEANS SAINTS||17||365.5||19||256.3||14||109.2|