The early even slate of games start off with a bang as the New Orleans Saints look to get back to .500 for the first time this year as they travel to Oakland to take on the ghost of Al Davis and the Raaaaaiidders! Putting the records aside, this game features two of the top 3 passing attacks in the league as Drew Brees goes pass for pass with Carson Palmer.
Brees and the Saints battled down to the wire last week, as they gave division rival Atlanta their first loss of the year. They will look to continue their momentum against a Raiders squad who, as predicted here, got destroyed in Baltimore against the Ravens.
While both teams rely heavily on the pass, it has been the Saints who have been mixing in a good running attack with Chris Ivory lasweek, who scored on a 60+ yarder to pay dirt for the opening score. If the Saints get that balance again, expect them not to punt tomorrow, as they will be scoring on every drive.
The Raiders have been ravenged with injury at running back this season losing star back Darren McFadden and backup Mike Goodson. Taiwan Jones has been labelled the starter, but Marcel Reece is your fantasy play as he is money catching out of the backfield and led the team in targets and touches a week ago.
Although the Saints are on pace to give up the most yards in NFL history, they have been playing better in recent weeks since Joe Vitt has been back calling the plays. Johnathon Vilma being back at linebacker means that they have their captain back, and they have improved their 3rd down situation, which ranks dead last in the NFL.
Why the Raiders will win – The home team welcomes a team travelling cross country after an emotional game against a divisional opponent. Carson Palmer is ranked 3rd in the league, avg 307 yards a game and have great weapons in Denarius Moore, and Marcel Reece. If they can score with the Saints, they will compete with them. However, they must match New Orleans punch for punch – not making it a field possession game.
Why the Saints will win – We know the story on the Saints, when the ball is in Drew Brees hands, they have a chance to win. Brees ranks 2nd in the league in passing, and 6th overall in points scored. The Saints need to mix in some runs, and they have a great committee to do so. Once they get balance, Brees can stretch the field and find Marques Colston and super star tight end Jimmy Graham down field. Look for the Saints to move the ball, and find the end zone early and often. Jimmy Graham is a great fantasy play tomorrow!
How I see the game – There will be a lot of points scored, but whoever makes plays on defense will be the victor. The Saints are going to put up points, and the Raiders will have to match them to keep it within striking distance. I trust Brees over Palmer anyday, and will take the red hot offense of the Saints to win this game close!
Big game – Jimmy Graham, Jimmy Graham, Denarius Moore, Lance Moore, Marcel Reece
Sleeper – Carson Palmer, Rod Streater, Chris Ivory