Sunday, October 13, 2013

Week 6 picks: Saints at Patriots

Publisher Nick St. Denis, associate editor Dan Begnoche and senior contributor Sean Donovan pick the New England Patriots' cross-conference showdown with the New Orleans Saints.

Nick's take:
New England's defensive front is ailing with the loss of Vince Wilfork and the absence of Tommy Kelly, and the Saints don't need any help to begin with. New England will struggle to contain Jimmy Graham and New England's pass-catching backfield, and the Patriots' offense, while much-improved, will fall short against a defense that has more interceptions than passing touchdowns given up.
Prediction: Saints 27, Patriots 24

Sean's take:
The Saints bring their high-powered offense to Gillette Stadium to face the Patriots, whose young, improving defense will find Drew Brees too much to handle. New Orleans gets ahead early and uses its aggressive defense to put New England away. The Patriots lose their fourth home game against NFC competition in their past five tries.
Prediction: Saints 21, Patriots 17

Dan's take:
Injuries on the defensive line put a squad that is already struggling against the run in a tough spot, particularly against an explosive Saints offense that uses its running backs to full potential. New Orleans' defense isn't too shabby either, and it will continue to pressure a Gronk-less passing game and a banged up running back corps. Tom Brady will get back on the touchdown path but struggle to keep up with a Drew Brees-led offense that could be the deadliest in the league.
Prediction: Saints 31, Patriots 20