Saints vs. Broncos: NFL Week 8 Preview
Who Has The Edge In This Week 8 Matchup Between The Saints And Broncos?
The New Orleans Saints travel to Denver this week for a matchup with the Denver Broncos. This game will not be an easy one for the Saints as the Broncos are coming off of their bye week and Monday night victory over the San Diego Chargers. Furthermore, the Saints will be playing on the road for the second week in a row and the Broncos have Peyton Manning.
However, despite everything that is against the Saints they are by no means underdogs. Sure their defense is the worst in the league but they have found ways to overcome that and get two wins in a row. The Saints still have the best offense in the NFL so Drew Brees will have to carry the team to victory yet again. However, it would be nice for the defense to help Brees out a little this week.
The Broncos managed a 3-3 record up to this point in the season which is impressive considering they had one of the most difficult schedules through the first six weeks. The Saints on the other hand are sitting at 2-4 and second in the NFC south and they would love nothing more than extend their win streak.
I figure this game to be hard fought by both teams and it is possible for either team to come out with a victory. Despite not being in the same conference this game will be big for the Saints and Broncos and could playoff implications for each. It should be a great game and it will be fun to watch Brees and Manning square off again with memories of the Super Bowl the two played against each other.
Injury Report: Here is the injury report for both teams as of today, October 25, 2012. Courtesy of NFL.com. Note: This injury report does not indicate the status of the players for Sunday’s contest.
NODaniel Graham TE Knee Did Not Participate In Practice Jimmy Graham TE Ankle Limited Participation in Practice David Hawthorne LB Hamstring Limited Participation in Practice Joseph Morgan WR Chest Limited Participation in Practice Darren Sproles RB Not Injury Related Did Not Participate In Practice
DEN Mike Adams S Knee Full Participation in Practice Chris Harris CB Ankle Full Participation in Practice Chris Kuper G Forearm Full Participation in Practice Tracy Porter CB Illness Limited Participation in Practice Sealver Siliga DT Non-injury Related Did Not Participate In Practice Jacob Tamme TE Hip Full Participation in Practice Danny Trevathan LB Thumb Full Participation in Practice Matt Willis WR Hamstring Full Participation in Practice
Saints' X Factor
Saints X Factor: I think the x factor for this week will be the team’s emotion. When you think about it the Saints have had something to rally around during both of their victories this season. In week five the Saints rallied around Brees going for a record as well as having Sean Payton in attendance. In week seven the Saints rallied around the return of Jonathan Vilma. I am not saying these are reasons they won but it certainly gave the Saints an emotional lift. This week the Saints will rally around the return of interim coach Joe Vitt. The Saints would like to get a victory for Vitt in his first game returning from suspension. The Saints will have to channel their emotion to both sides of the ball and play a complete game to get a victory over the Broncos.
Broncos' X Factor
Broncos X Factor: The Broncos x factor for this week is not Manning, but instead is running back Willis McGahee. The Saints give up 161 yards a game on the ground which has them ranked 31st in the NFL. We all know that Manning is one of the most cerebral quarterbacks in the NFL but in this game it will be his running back that will be the difference maker. McGahee is ranked 14th in the NFL with 432 rushing yards. Furthermore, he rushes for 72 yards a game with a 4.3 average and three touchdowns on the season. Manning will still get the passing game going but he needs to hand the ball off to McGahee early and often and let him go to work.
How the Saints can win this game
How the Saints can win this game: The Saints will win this game if Vitt can help the struggling defense and if Brees can have another big game. The defense must help Brees in this game because they cannot keep depending on Brees to continually save the day. However, I know Brees will find a way to be effective and efficient and help the Saints win this game. Hopefully with the linebacker corps getting healthy they can pressure Manning and create some turnovers. Furthermore, the secondary must improve because Manning is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. The secondary has been less than spectacular and this will be a huge test for them. If the secondary can play good coverage and get the ball back in Brees’ hands the Saints can win this game.
How the Broncos can win this game
How the Broncos can win this game: The Broncos will win this game with a solid passing attack coupled with a good ground game. Manning should have a big game against the Saints’ secondary and his “no-huddle” offense will be a factor in defeating the Saints. I would also expect McGahee to have a big game as well. McGahee could very well rush for over 100 yards against the Saints. This game could turn into a shootout between Brees and Manning but the ground game is where the Broncos can win this game.
Final Prediction: This will probably be one of the toughest games for the Saints this season. Manning seems to be hitting his stride at just the right time. However, at the same time Brees seems to finding his groove as well. This game features two teams that are on the rise and looking to solidify a spot in the playoff hunt. There is definitely more at stake for the Saints as every game from here on out is a must-win. This is a game that the Saints must win, but unfortunately I think this could be a game that they could lose. The Broncos are coming off of their bye-week and have had two weeks to prepare for the Saints. Furthermore, the Broncos are playing at home where they are 2-1 this season. I predict the Saints fall to the Broncos this week in a close game. Broncos win 27-24.