If you believe in revenge games, then the obvious pick here is the Saints, and I've seen "Jaws: The Revenge" enough to know that I believe in revenge games. The Saints have a lot of offensive weapons, which is bad news for a Rams team that couldn't even stop just one weapon in Carolina during Week 1 (Christian McCaffrey totaled 209 yards and two touchdowns). This game's going to be a shootout, and as long as the Saints don't get hosed by the refs again, I think they're going to Escape from L.A. with a win.
These teams put up 80 points when they met last year in New Orleans, a 45-35 Saints victory. And that might not change after each team need its offense to outlast the defense in the season opener. FYI: Jared Goff and Drew Brees combined for 731 yards and 7 TDs last year.
The Rams allowed the fourth-fewest receiving yards to running backs last season, but it appears they struggle when the pass-catching running back happens to be elite. Christian McCaffrey feasted on the Rams last week with 10 catches and 81 yards and Alvin Kamara dominated the NFC Championship game last season with 11 catches and 96 yards. Drew Brees will get excellent protection like he usually does and utilize the short-pass game to gash the Rams.
This is a rematch of the NFC championship game, this time in Los Angeles. The Saints and Rams struggled to win their openers. Lots of offense on tap for this one along with some revenge on the minds of the Saints. Most important, the tiebreaker edge needed for the top seed in the NFC playoffs.
SILVER (0.25 UNITS)
Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara will have much to do toward that goal as the Rams struggle to contain either one of them. The problem with New Orleans continues to lie in pass defense, where Jared Goff will have two great matchups to exploit with his receivers in Eli Apple and P.J. Williams. Wade Phillips will scheme better in crunch time than Dennis Allen will.
The Saints are a different team on the road. It’s a good bet there’s a Todd Gurley uptick here after he gathered momentum in the second half of the opener.
he Saints continue to have issues covering the slot — Deshaun Watson had a 146.9 passer rating targeting slot corner PJ Williams last week — and the Rams will pick on that, too, with Cooper Kupp back in the mix.
I would expect to see a passing duel between Drew Brees and Jared Goff. Brees isn't as good on the road as he is at home, which is why I think the Rams will win a close one.
This is the best game on the Week 2 schedule. Neither team has a decided edge over the other, making the home Rams the right pick with the point spread at less than a field goal. Los Angeles did find a way to win in New Orleans a few months ago in the NFC Championship Game.
Consider this a strike against the very concept of a “revenge game.” Bettors’ misguided confidence on the Saints earning vengeance is contributing to this line staying under a field goal. Are the Rams not going to t
The Saints’ offseason departures could catch up with them this week: Defensive end Alex Okafor (signed with the Chiefs) certainly would’ve helped New Orleans’ run defense, which is feeling the injuries to Sheldon Rankins and Mario Edwards, and center Max Unger (retired) would’ve boosted the Saints’ chances of slowing down Aaron Donald’s elite interior pass rush.
Both teams have terrific quarterbacks, exciting running backs and talented wide receivers. Both teams have defenses that are a strange mix of porous and opportunistic. In what will almost assuredly be a close game, an interception, a fumble or even a missed call late in the game could decide things.