TV Schedule: Monday, Sept. 30, 8:40 p.m. ET, ESPN
Stadium: Mercedes-Benz Superdome
Weather: Low 61, High 82
Line: New Orleans (-6)
Matching up two of the league’s 3-0 teams, the Miami Dolphins will face off against the New Orleans Saints on Monday. Miami is somewhat of a surprise as no one knew what to expect from this young team. Ryan Tannehill looks much better in his second year in the league, passing for 827 yards and four touchdowns through three games. Lamar Miller got off to a slow start at the running back position in his first season as a starter. The young back has 134 yards and a touchdown on 32 carries. Wide out Brian Hartline has been phenomenal for the Dolphins, racking up 238 yards and two touchdowns on a team-leading 18 catches.
As the other 3-0 team in this matchup, the Saints are not as much of a surprise unbeaten team as the Dolphins. Drew Brees is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL and there’s no questioning that with his 1,021 passing yards with six scores. While the pass game averages nearly 320 yards per game, the run game is not nearly as potent. Pierre Thomas is the team’s leading rusher with 25 carries for 100 yards. This just means that Brees will take advantage of the defense with the best weapon at tight end in the league. Jimmy Graham has 358 receiving yards and four touchdowns through four games — he has been Brees’s favorite target.
Defensively, the Dolphins allow 372 yards and 17 points per game. Miami’s pass defense is ranked 20th in the league and the run defense is ranked 19th. Drew Brees could have another big gam against this mediocre secondary. The Saints have a much-improved defense from a season ago in which they were dead-last in the NFL. Rob Ryan has this defense as a top-10 squad in the league. The only place they are lacking is run-stopping, which they rank 20th in the league — Miller might finally have his breakout game.
PREDICTION: Dolphins 17, Saints 30