Another week, another week of Saints football. This week, the Saints will look to extend their winning streak to 2 against the Indianapolis Colts (3-3). The Colts are sitting atop the AFC South while the Saints are at the bottom of the NFC South. In Vegas, the Colts are four-point favorites.

New Orleans Saints versus Indianapolis Colts

New Orleans Saints versus Indianapolis Colts

I hate to say this, but once again, it is a must win game for the Saints. I honestly believe that if the Saints can pull off the win in Indianapolis, their season might just be saved. Do I think the Saints can win the division at this point? No. Do I think they have a shot at the wildcard? Yes. As of now, there are 11 teams sitting at .500 or worse in the NFC. There is plenty of football left. The Saints will need to get hot if they want a chance, and it all starts in Indianapolis.

First, let’s look at how injuries will affect each team. The Saints have already ruled out DB Keenan Lewis, DB Damian Swann, and OT Andrus Peat. The absence of DBs Keenan Lewis and Damian Swann could prove to be incredibly costly for an already struggling Saints secondary. The Colts have a deep group of wide receivers. T.Y. Hilton, Andre Johnson, Donte Moncrief, and Phillip Dorsett are all capable of making plays. The Saints also have to deal with TEs Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener. Andrew Luck has all of the weapons necessary to tear apart a defense.

As of now, it is unknown as to how the Saints will cover the Colts’ receivers. There was a good chance Brandon Browner would cover a tight end, but now it looks as if he will be forced to cover a receiver. The Saints will need DBs Kyle Wilson and Brian Dixon to step it up.

(Note: NFL transaction wire shows Saints have activated Sammy Seamster (CB) and Akeem Davis (S) from the practice squad. Both have two years of experience.  To make roster room, the Saints have cut T J Graham and Joe Morgan)

Luckily for the Saints, it appears their offensive line will be full strength this Sunday. Both Terron Armstead and Tim Lelito were listed as “Probable” on Friday’s injury report. Thomas Morstead, WR Marques Colston, and LB Dannell Ellerbe were listed as “Probable.”  It’ll be incredibly important for the offensive line to make room for the running backs to run and protect Drew Brees.

The Colts will likely be without S Mike Adams and S Clayton Geathers. Mike Adams already has four interceptions this season. The loss of these two important safeties could prove costly for the Colts against the Saints high-powered passing attack.

If the Saints want to win on Sunday, they will have to do three things relatively well: pressure the quarterback, limit big plays on defense, and run the ball. The Saints will want to force turnovers to get the ball back to the offense. If the Saints can force Andrew Luck to throw the ball prematurely, there is a good chance he will make a few mistakes. The Saints need to put the Colts in third-and-long situations, and make Andrew Luck force the ball into a certain spot. By pressuring Luck, the Saints secondary will have a much better chance of intercepting a few of his balls.

The Colts are more than capable of making big plays, and the Saints defense needs to limit those plays. Frank Gore is averaging 4.5 yards a carry. The defensive line and linebackers need to tackle him right away. The secondary has its work cut out too. The speedy Colts’ receivers are capable of blowing right past the Saints’ cornerbacks. Safeties Jairus Byrd and Kenny Vaccaro will need to be aware of the deep ball.

Get the run game going Saints!!! The Saints should be able to run the ball well as they made a major effort in the offseason to improve their backfield. They signed C.J. Spiller and re-signed Mark Ingram. The offense will need to extend drives to keep the defense well-rested. According to ESPN, the Saints are only averaging 84.7 rush yards a game. That will need to change to create more balance. If the Colts’ defense is forced to load the box, there will be more opportunities for receivers.

I expect this game to be a high-scoring affair. With two solid offenses going up against two bad defenses, it should be interesting. Both teams should pass the ball frequently as both defenses are without two important secondary pieces. It was hard for me to come up with a winner. The matchup really could go either way; however, I choose the Saints to win 34-31. I think the momentum after winning a prime time game against the Falcons will push the Saints over the edge. Hopefully I am right in my prediction for the Saints to win as this may be the most important game of the year. I’m excited to see what unveils on Sunday. Go Saints!

Standoff in Indy New Orleans Saints versus Indianpolis Colts

Standoff in Indy New Orleans Saints versus Indianpolis Colts