The 6 – 1 New Orleans Saints look to extend their winning streak, without Drew Brees, against the Arizona Cardinals who are on a three game winning streak of their own.
New Orleans Saints Against The Arizona Cardinals
The New Orleans Saints have surprised everyone to this point. When Drew Brees went down multiple “experts” counted the Saints out for the season. WOW were they wrong. The Saints with Teddy Bridgewater at the helm have gone undefeated with the help of the New Orleans Defense. Let’s look at the match up of the New Orleans Saints hosting the Arizona Cardinals. First the injury report, which does play into this matchup:
New Orleans Saints Injury Report
Drew Brees QB Out
Jared Cook TE Out
Trey Hendrickson DE Out
Alvin Kamara RB Out
Tre’Quan Smith WR Out
Arizona Cardinals Injury Report
Zach Allen DE Out
D.J. Foster RB Out
Brett Toth T Out
Dennis Gardeck LB Questionable
Zach Kerr DT Questionable
Offensive Teams Comparison
While the Cardinals are averaging slightly points per game more than the Saints, Cardinals 22.33 to Saints 21.33, this has been against suspect defenses. The Cardinals Kyler Murray does present some challenges with his running ability but he hasn’t faced a defense that like the Saints. From a pure athletic ability standpoint, Murray is a better athlete than Bridgewater but Bridgewater is the better QB. Bridgewater has shown that he can do what needs to be done.
QB Advantage Saints
The running back position would be a no brainer if Alvin Kamara were healthy. This doesn’t take anything away from Latavius Murry but he is going to have to carry the load alone, with some help from Taysom Hill. The trio of David Johnson RB, Chase Edmonds RB and Kyler Murray QB give the Cardinals the slight advantage. It really won’t matter because the Cardinals will have to play from behind and throw the ball more than they want.
RB Advantage Cardinals
Larry Fitzgerald is a Hall of Fame receiver but he doesn’t compare to Michael Thomas at this stage in his career. The Saints rank 12th in passing yardage, even though they have faced tougher defenses. Michael Thomas has more yards than the top two Cardinal receivers, Larry Fitzgerald WR and Christian Kirk WR, combined. The Saints have the clear advantage.
WR Advantage Saints
The Tight End comparison would go decisively to the Saints if Jared Cook were healthy. The absence of Cook tips the scales slightly in the favor of the Cardinals.
TE Advantage Cardinals
The Saints offensive line is having an excellent year. They have given almost 1/2 as many sacks as have the Cardinals. The Saints are much better than the Cardinals.
Offensive Line Advantage Saints
The Saints game plan without Drew Brees has been nothing short of miraculous. Sean Payton has adjusted to fit the personnel that he has available. Bridgewater and Murray have both stepped up but Payton’s plan has made this possible.
Offensive Teams Advantage New Orleans Saints
Defensive Teams Comparison
The strength of the New Orleans Saints defense is the defensive line. The Saints have depth all across the line and they are tough against the run and get pressure in passing situations. The return of Sheldon Rankins has solidified the middle of the D line and allowed Cam Jordan and Marcus Davenport to operate more often against single blockers.
Defensive Line Advantage Saints
Veteran linebacker Chandler Jones is having a great year. The Cardinals are strong at this position.
Linebackers Advantage Cardinals
The defensive back corps for the Saints is a group that has stepped up this year. The Saints are giving up close to 30 yds per game less than the Cardinals and have almost double the number of turnovers as do the Cardinals. While Patrick Peterson is still a top notch corner, he can’t do it all by himself. Marshon Lattimore CB, Marcus Williams S, Vonn Bell S and the rest of the defensive backs more than move things in the favor of the Saints.
Defensive Backs Advantage Saints
The New Orleans Saints are a much improved unit this season. They have been holding opponents to 21 points per game which ranks the 11th in the league.
Defensive Teams Advantage New Orleans Saints
This is a game that the New Orleans Saints should win. Playing at home in the Super Dome along with the way both their offense and defense are playing makes this a game that the Saints should win going away.
Saints 34 Cardinals 17