The New England Patriots can go a long way in removing any doubt from fans’ minds with a win over the New Orleans Saints. It would take the doubt out of the offense, the balance of the team and a defense that is still getting very little respect in the city of Boston and throughout the league.
The Saints are explosive as always. The Drew Brees-Jimmy Graham connection is off to a blazing-hot start and no one has been able to slow them down yet. If the Patriots can do that, they may very well earn the lines that Vegas has been giving them as the favorites. However, if the Patriots lose two in a row, look for the city and media to come crashing in.
With the Patriots offense looking as anemic as it does, they need to score points and the defense needs to make stops. Boston has been out of their mind when it comes to having Rob Gronkowski back in the line up, but honestly, one guy isn’t going to make a difference against a team like the Saints. If the Patriots’ wide receivers and running backs don’t make plays, it’s not going to matter.
This isn’t the week to over-complicate things or to get into a shootout. The game will be played outside and in New England, so if you think you have a chance of beating the Saints, this is probably the way to do it. If the game was at the Superdome, I think I would take the Saints by 10.
Tony is a columnist for rantsports.com you can follow him on twitter @tony_sports.