My apologies for my brief absence away from the “Game of the Week” column. The column started in Week 3, which saw a game between the Miami Dolphins and Atlanta Falcons. Without recapping the game, the teams are heading in opposite directions. The Dolphins are 3-2 and tied for second place in the AFC East. While the Falcons have had a rough start, going 1-4 and taking on more injuries every week. Now why are we talking about Week 3? Well with Week 6 on the horizon, the big game of the week is….
Jacksonville Jaguars at Denver Broncos… Ok. Ok. I’m joking.
New Orleans Saints at New England Patriots
Case for the Saints: The Saints sit alone atop the NFC South and when I say “alone”, I mean ALONE:
Saints 5-0 (@ NE)
Panthers 1-3 (@ MIN)
Falcons 1-4 (much needed Bye)
Buccaneers 0-4 (vs. PHI)
Now that doesn’t mean that the Saints can ease up on the gas pedal now. They get a bye in Week 7 so coming in with momentum, and an unblemished record, means a lot. Following the Seattle loss to Indy this past weekend, the Saints are now in sole possession of the number one seed in the NFC. But before we get ahead of ourselves, how did they get there? Well it starts with the defense…through five games, they have forced 11 turnovers. Having a positive turnover margin means your creating more opportunities for your team rather than the other. Also, they have this player named Drew Brees, who would be competing with Peyton Manning for MVP so far if there was a competition. The Saints have also found their biggest threat in Jimmy Graham, the match-up nightmare tight end. Graham is in the ranked in the top 3 for receptions, touchdowns, and yards. He’s a tight end that is leading the league in receiving yards and he’s always a threat against whatever defense he plays.
Case for the Patriots: I made a contract with myself that prohibited me from talking about the Patriots’ season until they were healthy/improved. While they are in no way there yet, I must discuss some small matters in light of their upcoming game. Without criticizing too much, their offense needs to improve. Yes, I know Gronk is out/coming back soon, but there is enough talent there to make some noise. I think this game means more to the Patriots because all of a sudden, they have two teams right behind them in the division. Both the Jets and Dolphins are 3-2, while the Pats are 4-1. All three teams are in action this week, so the division lead is on the line. Tom Brady‘s 52 game streak with a touchdown pass was snapped last week so look for Brady to come out throwing after tough weather conditions last week. This game is more important for division implications and because of that, I think the Patriots will have enough to win. Remember, the Patriots defense is notorious for giving up yards, not points. They’re ranked second in the NFL, giving up 14 points per game
One Dud: In my first and only “Game of the Week” Column, I predicted that Stevan Ridley would continue to upset owners. While he’s hurt right now, don’t expect a big day from Julian Edelman. For those lucky enough to ride his production so far, Amendola has returned, Gronk is returning (EDIT: Doubtful for Sunday), and Kenbrell Thompkins gets more redzone and deep ball targets. Edelman was nice while he was getting targets, but its time to move on.
Terrance Williams, WR Dallas Cowboys
Miles Austin is hurt and all of a sudden Williams is the #2 wide receiver for Tony Romo. Coming off a game against the Denver Broncos in which he tallied 4 receptions for 151 yards, and 1 score, he now faces the Washington Redskins. If you didn’t know already, Washington has given up 9 touchdowns through the air, good for tenth most in the NFL. Plus, Romo is coming off arguably one of the best games of his career, and he’s going to be looking to throw the ball.
Pick: New Orleans Saints 24 – New England Patriots 31
Record since Week 3: 3 – 0 (home team in CAPS)
3 – MIAMI over Atlanta (W)
4 – NEW ORLEANS over Miami (W)
5 – Denver over DALLAS (W)
6 – NEW ENGLAND over New Orleans
***Contact me if you have anything sports related or interesting you want to talk about. Maybe I’ll mention you in the Week 6 Spar***