After the dust settles and the New Orleans Saints and the Miami Dolphins have finished competing in their nationally televised Monday Night Football match up, one of these undefeated teams will have to record a mark in the loss category. Yes, yes, there could very well be a tie. We all remember the tie game between the San Francisco 49ers and the St. Louis Rams from last season.
While both teams have started their seasons on positive notes, I just find it hard to believe that a Dolphins team will come into the Mercedes-Benz Dome and beat a team that is trending upward in almost every regard. Think about it.
Offensively, Drew Brees is starting off like he has so many times before. He is currently No. 4 in passing yards at 1,021, tied at No. 4 in touchdowns with six, and on average is throwing for eight yards every time he drops back. Brees is also averaging 340 passing yards per game, putting him on track to once again surpass the 5,000 passing yards for a third consecutive season. Not too shabby.
And let us not forget about all of the weapons that head coach Sean Payton has surrounded him with. There is veteran receiver Marques Colston, who is the all-time leader in both receptions and touchdowns. Brees also has wide receiver Lance Moore, who has proven himself time and time again and also recorded his first 1,000 yard receiving season last year. Though he is questionable for Monday’s game against Miami, there is plenty of depth behind with Nick Toon, dependable veteran Robert Meachem and emerging rookie Kenny Stills. Brees also has the speedy running back Darren Sproles to dump short passes and designed screen throws to.
Last but not least, there is the emerging superstar tight end, Jimmy Graham. Drafted by the Saints in 2010, Graham has become a reliable weapon for the offense and a pain to defend with his 6-foot-7, 265 pound frame. Graham currently leads all tight ends with 358 receiving yards through his first three games, and ranks No. 4 overall, even among receivers.
Defensively, New Orleans is trending upwards and making up for the historically bad outing least season, when they gave up 7,042 yards to opposing offenses. Currently the Saints’ defense ranks No. 4 in total yards per game, allowing only 295.7 in their three games. A bolstered secondary with the acquisition of free agent cornerback Keenan Lewis and energetic rookie safety Kenny Vaccaro has held opposing pass attacks to just 184.3 passing yards per game, again placing the Saints at No. 4 in passing yards. This is also aided by the Saints’ defensive line that has been highly disruptive by creating pressure, collapsing pockets and sacking opposing quarterbacks ten times.
I think the Saints should be heavily favored against Miami at home, but the game still needs to be played. Dolphins’ quarterback Ryan Tannehill is off to a decent start in his second year, and Miami’s defense is among the league leaders with a total of 14 sacks. This being said, look for New Orleans to improve to 4-0 and continue their upward trend in the weekly power rankings.