The New Orleans Saints will face the Washington Redskins this Sunday in what can be argued as their first matchup against a good quarterback who is not suffering with an injury since Tom Brady. They faced Cam Newton and Jameis Winston both of whom were working through shoulder problems, and a banged up Matthew Stafford. This could be one of their toughest test during their current winning streak with Kirk Cousins at the helm. The Washington Redskins will be without running back Rob Kelley and tackle T J Clemmons–both placed on injured reserve. Their latest injury report has the following listing:
LT Trent Williams (knee), LB Zach Brown (achilles), WR Ryan Grant (concussion), TE Jordan Reed (hamstring), TE Niles Paul (concussion), WR Brian Quick (concussion), DB DeAngelo Hall (knee), DL Matt Ioannidis (hand), DL Anthony Lanier (knee), G Shawn Lauvao (stinger), C Spencer Long (knees), S Montae Nicholson (shoulder) and G Brandon Scherff (knee).
To their fans, Redskins have been maddeningly inconsistent. Their spectacular plays are offset by spectacular missteps. Many would argue their wins are the result of fourth quarter heroics but it is just that sort of play that makes them so watchable.
The Redskins losses to the Eagles (twice), Chiefs, and Vikings were more or less expected. Their wins over the Raiders and 49ers were more or less expected as well. Their last minute win over Seattle was spectacular and unexpected. But their most impressive win was over the Rams which boasts a good, up and coming quarter back in Jared Goff.
Comparing quarterbacks, Drew Brees has a lead over Kirk Cousins in passer ratings but not in total yards or average yards per game. Cousins will be a fierce test for the Saints secondary. The Redskins do not boast a great run game; whereas New Orleans is beginning to perfect its run game. Additionally, Rob Kelley (Tulane’s own) who is arguably their best back will likely be out for this game. But Washington still has Chris Thompson and Samaje Perine ready to carry the rock. It is assumed the Redskins will take to the air to win. Jamison Crowder is their premier wide receiver followed by Ryan Grant who has just entered the NFL’s concussion protocol. But Josh Doctson is lurking out there to make another phenomenal catch. At present, the Redskins are rated the 9th offense in the league; whereas, New Orleans is ranked the 5th offense overall.
As for defense, the Saints are ranked the 8th defense overall in the league. The Redskins are ranked 20th. But let us not forget Junior Galette returns to the Superdome ready to wreak havoc on his old team. Galette has been a bit of a disappointment to the Redskins and is not used on every down. I would imagine he will make use of every down to cause as much damage as possible. Galette appears to be up to his old fighting ways. Search Galette and TZM for the latest antics.
My prediction is the Saints will win the game but their ability to defend the pass will either enhance or ameliorate their reputation as a no-fly zone. It will be a good contest.