(267) New England vs. New Orleans (268)
PICK: 5dimes @ Over 54.5 (-110)
DATE: September 17, 2017 - 1:00 PM
STAR RATING: 8.0
EXPERT: Will Rogers
EVALUATION: Win (800) - Final Total 56
New England: Can you believe that Brady Brady is ranked dead-last in the league with a completion percentage of 44. , after going 16 of 26 without a TD pass in the Pats' season opener? What's more, he has glaring issues at WR with Julian Edelman out for the year, Malcolm Mitchell on injured reserve and Danny Amendola is in the NFL's concussion protocol. Also, Brady's security blanket, TE Rob Gronkowski, looked rusty in the loss to the Chiefs, catching just two passes for 33 yards. New RB Mike Gillislee did rush for three TDs in Week 1 but the Patriots were also stuffed on three short-yardage situations. Then there is the New England defense which allowed 537 yards (!!!) to the Chiefs plus the 42 points KC scored were the most allowed since coach Bill Belichick arrived in New England!
New Orleans: The Saints are also looking for answers in Week 2. "A sense of urgency has been created," acknowledged Drew Brees. "It's very important. It's our home opener, and we want to get back on track." New Orleans struggled to get un-tracked offensively at Minnesota but the team is a different animal when playing on the fast track of the Superdome. Brees finished with 291 yards and a TD plus Adrian Peterson tied for the team high with 18 yards on six carries in his debut with New Orleans. Coming off a 2016 season in which Minnesota was among the league's worst with averages of 375.4 YPG and 28.4 PPG allowed, the Saints surrendered 470 total yards and 29 points to the Vikings.
The pick: New England is a remarkable 42-6 SU following a loss since 2004 and plays its first road game of 2017 here, after going a perfect 8-0 on the road last season. As noted above, Brees acknowledged "a sense of urgency." Here's why. Another slow start could prove devastating to the Saints. New Orleans has failed to make the playoffs in each of the past three seasons. The Saints started 0-2 in 2014, 0-3 in 2015 and 0-3 last season. In fact, since owning an 11-5 record back on Dec. 29, 2013, the Saints have gone 1,358 days without a winning record. Can the Saints win on Sunday? New England's 'bounce-back' history says no but Brees is averaging 357.7 YPG passing in his last 15 home games. On the other side, anyone NOT think Brady will have something to prove off that embarrassment against the Chiefs? Make the Over an 8* play.