WASHINGTON @ NEW ORLEANS | 10/08 | 8:15 PM EDT
Head coach Jay Gruden gets one of the most out of his offense, and it’s unlikely that Washington would have acquired QB Alex Smith if Gruden didn’t believe he could run the team efficiently. While rookie RB Derrius Guice is appealing and TE Jordan Reed controls on the uncommon occasions when he’s healthy, Washington has one of the weakest skill-position systems in the league’ certainly a downgrade from what Smith had in Kansas City. Washington revealed some enhancement in coordinator Greg Manusky’s very first season, however parted with promising, young CBs Kendall Fuller and Bashaud Breeland in the offseason. LBs Ryan Kerrigan and Zach Brown are strong, and there’s hope for improvement in advance with the addition of first-round draft choice DT Da’Ron Payne and the healthy return of 2017 first-rounder DE Jonathan Allen (who missed out on 11 games with a foot injury last season).
Though he’s lost a little arm strength, QB Drew Brees is most respected when working deep down the middle, where WR Michael Thomas grew last season. WR Ted Ginn can still take the top off a defense, and WR Camera Meredith and TE Ben Watson are quality role players. RB Alvin Kamara is almost unstoppable in space, averaging an eye-popping 9.0 lawns per touch as a novice (no other player with 100+ brings averaged more than 7.1). The 2017 Saints’ D ended the group’s three-year run of completing amongst the bottom 5 in points allowed. DE Camera Jordan made All-Pro bestow 13 sacks in the middle of numerous double- and triple-team stopping. CB Marshon Lattimore is already a true shutdown corner, and fellow 2017 draft choice S Marcus Williams was essential to New Orleans’ protective turnaround. Free agent arrivals CB Patrick Robinson and LB Demario Davis upgrade the unit.
The Saints seem to have lost their Superdome magic in ATS terms, while Washington has covered four in a row at New Orleans. Those trends are overridden by the return of suspended RB Mark Ingram, who will ease the burden of effective RB Alvin Kamara. The Saints had to shelve any creative plans for the stellar tandem and now get to dust them off. After a blazing start to the season, QB Drew Brees came back to earth last Sunday, With only 201 more yards needed to become the league’s career passing leader, he will come out firing.