Looking at the slate of games, there are only a few which pique my interest.
Pittsburgh at New Orleans
Minnesota at New England
Green Bay at the Jets.
Can New Orleans regain their 2009 form?
Will Brett Favre start?
Can Rex Ryan’s defense stifle the Packers passing attack?
The New Orleans Saints are not playing well. What is wrong with the Super Bowl Champs?
Running backs Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas are out. Local media in the New Orleans area believe not having Bush and Thomas playing has hurt their offensive productivity. Yes, this is true. And there is more to the story. Last season, the Saints were second in the league forcing 39 turnovers. Consequently, they were a fantastic PLUS ELEVEN in the takeaway/giveaway differential. However, this year, is a different story. Through seven games this season, the Saints are a NEGATIVE FIVE. Their decline in this area can be attributed to ball hawking safety Darren Sharper missing six games. Last season, Sharper had nine interceptions which tied for the league lead. But what is getting lost in the conversation is they gave up a lot of points last season. In 2009, the Saints allowed 341 points. With 341 points surrendered, they ranked 20th in the league. Needless to say, their defense is mediocre. Their ability to cause turnovers plus a potent offense ( lead league in points scored 510) put them over the top.
Another topic is the the health of Drew Brees. According to reports, Brees has been wearing a brace on his left knee. This left knee is believed to be a MCL sprain. Is this injury affecting his footwork? In 2010, Brees has been pedestrian for his standards. There is a saying: “A quarterback throws the ball with his feet, not with his arm.” When Bill Walsh was observing his quarterbacks in practice, by watching just footwork, he could tell if a pass would be complete or incomplete. Keep an eye on Brees tonight. See if he is having trouble with his footwork. Already this season he has 10 interceptions.
I like the Steelers tonight. The Steel Curtain will shut down the Saints running game. This will make the Saints one dimensional.
As for the other two games:
Belichick will find a way to limit Peterson’s effectiveness. And Favre will make his usual mistakes. The Pats will win.
Look for the Jets to continue their winning ways. While watching the Packers this year, I am not impressed with their defense. The Packers will not be able to run the ball against the Jets. Rodgers is in for a long day.