Posted on November 2, 2018, by Travis Pulver
For years, the New Orleans Saints have been a fun team to watch because few can generate offense quite like Saints quarterback Drew Brees can. But at the same time, their defense was terrible, and the team’s record was never one worth talking about. The St. Louis/Los Angeles Rams, on the other hand, were just plain bad.
But for the last couple of seasons that has not been the case. The Saints have found a defense and a running game. As for the Rams—they have become one of the most complete teams in the NFL.
Both are now considered part of the NFL’s elite which can mean only one thing for this Sunday’s game between the two—it is going to be must-see television. But who will win?
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Whenever teams appear to be as good as the Saints and Rams do, there is one question that comes to mind—are they really? Are they really that good or has their competition just been soft? When it comes to both of these teams, the answer is easy—yes, they are as good as they appear.
New Orleans got off to a slow start on defense a lot like they did last season. But after losing their season opener to the Buccaneers and Fitz-magic, they have not lost. Things were close against the Falcons and Browns. But they handled the Redskins with ease, took down a very tough Ravens squad, and played an excellent game against the Vikings last week.
Their offense is as good as ever. With Mark Ingram back, the running game has looked better. As of last week’s game against the Vikings, they have the toughest run defense in the NFL and the No. 13 unit (total yards allowed).
But their defense hasn’t faced an offense like the one the Rams have.
The Rams offense leads the league in total yards and points scored per game. They have the second-best rushing game and the fourth best passing game. They are tied for second fewest turnovers. Maybe the only thing they are not very good at doing is protecting Jared Goff. He’s been sacked 17 times (tied for 13th) and hit 31 times (ninth).
But if that’s the worst thing they do—well, that’s not bad.
Both teams are very good, and it is hard to imagine a scenario where this isn’t one of the best and hardest fought games of the season. The Saints will try to limit Todd Gurley as much as possible and force Jared Goff to beat them. It is the most logical thing to do since they have the No. 1 defense against the run.
But with Goff throwing to the arsenal of weapons he has at wide receiver– the Saints are still in trouble.
That is why they will try to make use of the best defense possible against a team like the Rams—they are going to run, run, and run some more. Goff can’t lead the Rams to victory if he isn’t on the field. While the Rams defense isn’t bad against the run, it isn’t great against it either.
At the same time, the Rams pass defense is just tenth. While that would mean something to most quarterbacks, it means little to one like Drew Brees.
When it comes down to it, both teams are going to be capable of moving the ball. So—who’s going to win?
It will be whoever can force the other into making a mistake. Since the Rams are a lot better at forcing turnovers than the Saints are, the edge goes to Los Angeles. The Rams are considered two-point favorites but will win by three.