Monday, September 30, 2013

Week 4 AFC East game picks: Dolphins at Saints

Publisher Nick St. Denis, associate editor Dan Begnoche and senior contributor Sean Donovan pick the Miami Dolphins' primetime showdown with the also-undefeated New Orleans Saints.

Sean's take:
It's been nearly 18 years since the Dolphins last played in the Superdome, where they'll find one of the league's most unwelcoming environments Monday night. Any combination of big plays from the aggressive Saints defense or the dynamic passing attack led by Drew Brees and Jimmy Graham will send the raucous New Orleans home fans into a frenzy, making life difficult for the visitors. Miami drops their first game of the season.
Prediction: Saints 34, Dolphins 20

Nick's take:
The Dolphins have struggled against tight ends, so it's only fitting that they're facing arguably the best tight end in the NFL on primetime Monday night. Offensively, Miami will be up against a Saints pass defense giving up the second fewest yards per game through the air and a squad that has more interceptions than passing touchdowns against.
Prediction: Saints 30, Dolphins 20

Dan's take:
Miami's 3-0 start has been truly impressive given its troubles along the offensive line, which now faces a Saints defense that's only allowed an average of 12.7 points per game. Tannehill has been solid in carrying his run-deficient offense, while the same can be said for Brees and his 24th-ranked run game. The key here may be the health and availability of Cameron Wake and the slew of defensive players listed as questionable for the 'Phins, which will need to put serious pressure on Brees to quell his 300-plus passing yard average.
Prediction: Saints 24, Dolphins 17