The New Orleans Saints take on the Arizona Cardinals in Week 8 at home in what is set to be Drew Brees’ return from his thumb injury.
The New Orleans Saints host the Arizona Cardinals in Week 8 one week before heading into the bye week. Not only is this the last game of the first half of the NFL season, but it is also going to be the return of Drew Brees under center.
Drees suffered a torn ligament in his throwing thumb in Week 2 and has been out of action since. The Saints have gone 5-0 in games started by Bridgewater with the only loss on the season being in the game that Brees was injured.
ESPN reported that the Saints are planning on starting Brees on Saturday, although the team has not yet confirmed. However, with Sean Payton already saying that the team would wait to announce the starting quarterback until Sunday morning, it seems more than likely that it will be Brees under center.
Realistically, this might not even change the outcome of the game against the Arizona Cardinals, who have won three games in a row but all three have been against poor competition.
Kyler Murray is exciting and hopefully, this can be an exciting game. Regardless, here is how we see the game playing out.
Offensive standout: Drew Brees
Could there be anyone else? It feels cheap to use Drew Brees as our pick for the offensive standout but there is nobody else that is fit for the role. Alvin Kamara is questionable, Jared Cook is out and the only other option that we considered was Michael Thomas.
Thomas may end up having a great game with Brees back under center but Brees will be the story of this game. I don’t think the Saints will try to take it easy on Brees and he will be called upon to throw the ball a lot in this one.
A 300-yard passing performance with three touchdowns seems to be in the cards for Brees.
Defensive standout: Cameeron Jordan
The Cardinals have one of the worst offensive lines in football and the best player on the Saints defensive line is going to take full advantage of that. This has all the makings of being Cameron Jordan‘s best game thus far this year.
Jordan is coming up against a young quarterback that loves to escape the pocket and extend plays. Jordan bringing pressure from the outside is going to shake Murray up and force him to step up in the pocket, where Sheldon Rankins will be waiting.
It will be Jordan, though, that gets most of the clean-up duty and finishes the game with the most sacks. Jordan is going to have 2.5 sacks in the game with a big forced fumble.
Score prediction: 30-10, New Orleans Saints
An easy, 30-point victory is the best way to get Drew Brees back into action. He will consistently get the Saints in scoring position and is going to have three touchdowns on the game, but the lack of Alvin Kamara is going to lead to more field goals on the Cardinals’ side of the field than Sean Payton may like.
The Saints will score six times, via three touchdowns and three field goals, and the defense will continue to dominate and will exploit Kyler Murray for what he is: a rookie quarterback.
This will be the perfect feel-good win to have heading into the bye week as the Saints look to continue their trek towards the NFC’s first-seed.