A couple of NFC division leaders after Week 4 will test their mettle in Week 5 as the 2-1 Washington Redskins visit the 3-1 New Orleans Saints (8:15 p.m. ET Monday on ESPN).
So far, the Redskins have hung their hat on their defensive excellence, while the Saints have boasted a very explosive offense. Washington is second in points allowed per game (14.7) and the Saints are third in points per game (34.3).
The Redskins could be getting a boost from having their bye week off. On the Saints’ side, star running back Mark Ingram is returning from a four-game suspension and quarterback Drew Brees is chasing a passing record.
Which team will have what it takes to win this Week 5 game in the Big Easy? We’ll preview some key questions, make our picks and offer some educated Washington Redskins vs New Orleans Saints predictions.
Can Redskins Win Battle of Chunk Plays?
The Saints have been an offensive powerhouse for a long time. New Orleans has ranked in the NFL’s top six in total yardage every season since 2006. This year, the team is performing well again in that statistic with a No. 4 ranking.
A big part of the Saints’ offensive success has come from its explosive offense that can easily generate massive chunks of yardage in one play. Quarterback Drew Brees is a great deep ball-thrower with great playmakers like running backs Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram, as well as receivers Michael Thomas and Ted Ginn.
The Redskins are not so much of a big-play offense. Quarterback Alex Smith prefers short and intermediate throws, and running back Adrian Peterson doesn’t have the breakaway speed that he had in his prime. However, they have limited big plays from their opponents so far this season. Doing so against the Saints in the Superdome will be their biggest challenge yet.
Washington will need to get creative on offense in this game to counter New Orleans and its frequent big plays.
Is New Orleans’ Defense Finally Living Up to the Hype?
The hype around the Saints this preseason was that they were finally going to have a solid defense to complement their high-scoring offense. New Orleans ended last season allowing 21 points or fewer in four out of its five final games. Through three games this season, though, they had allowed 103 points.
The Saints did have a good defensive performance in Week 4 against the New York Giants, allowing a meager 18 points and 299 yards while forcing two turnovers. It was certainly their best showing of the season on that side of the ball.
New Orleans may finally be hitting its stride on defense to match its talent level. If that continues, the Redskins will have trouble matching the Saints’ offensive production.
Will Redskins’ Match Saints’ Excitement Level?
NFL teams only have 16 games in a regular season, so every game is a pretty big deal to both squads. Certain games bring special significance, though.
New Orleans is at home and getting stud running back Mark Ingram back from a four-game suspension. Additionally, Drew Brees is just 201 passing yards away from being the NFL’s all-time passing yardage leader. You know the team and its fans are going to be jacked.
For the Redskins, this is just another game. Sure, they will be motivated to move their record to 3-1 after a bye week, but these teams aren’t rivals or anything.
Sometimes, a football game is about which team plays with more energy and force. The Redskins can’t let the Saints dominate them in that facet.
Our Preview’s Washington Redskins vs. New Orleans Saints Predictions & Picks Verdict
The Redskins’ defense has been awesome so far, somewhat unexpectedly. Washington has respectable personnel on that side of the ball, but it has been performing quite a bit above its talent level.
New Orleans’ defense is similar in quality to Washington’s on paper, but it is just now hitting its stride. I think the Saints’ home-court advantage and their extra motivation will help make that obvious in this game. Here are the Washington Redskins vs New Orleans Saints predictions for this preview:
- The Saints are the more talented team at home, and are favored by less than a touchdown with most USA betting The first of our picks is to place your bet on the Saints -6pts @ -110 with Bovada, 5Dimes, Bookmaker or BetOnline.
- The Saints’ big-play offense is better than the surging Washington defense, especially in the Superdome. With a New Orleans lead likely, the Redskins will be forced to pick up the tempo here. Bet the over 52.5 total points to be score in this game @ -110 with 5Dimes, Intertops or BetOnline.