Only a Slight Favorite, Saints Could Whip the Broncos

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Nov 6, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram (22) carries the ball to score a 75-yard touchdown against the San Francisco 49ers during the second quarter at Levi


The Saints come into this game as winners of four of their last five games, while Denver has lost 3 of their last 5 (including their last two away games).

New Orleans is starting to get healthy; and returning starters Sheldon Rankins and Delvin Breaux should receive close to a full workload after returning from injury last week, although left tackle Terron Armstead will in all likelihood sit out today’s game.

Denver will be missing All-Pro cornerback Aquib Talib, their best defensive linemen Derek Wolfe and top running back CJ Anderson. Additionally, defensive end Demarcus Ware, linebacker Brandon Marshall and safety T.J. Ward have been slowed by a variety of injuries.

The usually ultra-conservative play calling of Broncos coach Gary Kubiak has been hampered even more by an increasing lack of confidence in the performance of his offense.

Nov 6, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian (13) is tackled by Oakland Raiders defensive tackle Darius Latham (75) after throwing an incomplete pass in the fourth quarter at Oakland Coliseum. The Raiders defeated the Broncos 30-20. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

The Saints coaches, meanwhile, are showing more aggressiveness in their own play calling with each passing week on both sides of the ball.

The “almighty” Denver defense is vulnerable, ranking only 29th in rushing (allowing over 200 yards against Oakland a week ago), and even struggling at times against a faster paced mid-range passing attack.

The Saints offense is on a roll; attacking defenses with a variety of receivers on every level, along with Mark Ingram and Tim Hightower each rushing for over 100 yards in consecutive weeks to pace the suddenly emerging running game.