Free NFL Picks Carolina at New Orleans 10-3-2010

September 29, 2010

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Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints

Sunday October 3rd 2010 1 PM EST

Line: New Orleans -14

Overview:

The Saints lost a disappointing one last week against the Falcons. Perhaps the football Gods figured they needed to lose a close one after being handed the victory in San Francisco the week before. The Panthers have not competed with anyone thus far. With Jimmy Clausen under center, the Panthers are young and out of sync. The Saints are in front of their home crowd this week, but the Panthers haven’t lost to anyone by 14 yet, and the Saints haven’t beaten anyone by such a margin.

Key Points:

  • The Saints rank  30th  in rushing defense. Say what you want about how Carolina’s season has gone thus far, they have talent on their offense, especially at running back. Deangello Williams should follow in the footsteps of Adrian Peterson (87 yards), Frank Gore (112 yards), and the Saints’ Jason Snelling and Michael Turner (426 yards). As teams start to see how vulnerable the Saints are against the run, you can see the upward trend in yardage for running backs. Stewart and Williams could put on a show on Sunday, even if they don’t play their best game. The o-line is shaky, but the Saints have had trouble up front.
  • The Saints are ranked in dead last in rushing offense. True, Drew Brees is fantastic and the Saints can get away with not being effective on the ground…kinda. Prior to his injury, Reggie Bush caught passes out of the backfield that he turned into big games. Sometimes a swing pass is sort of like a toss sweep. Without Bush, the Saints become one dimensional. Pierre Thomas gets production only because defenses see him as the 5th or 6th most dangerous person with the ball. Since the Panthers don’t have to worry about the run, the Saints can expect to see a lot of cover guys on the field all game long. Running a dime package with Beason in the middle of the field might not be a bad way to go.
  • Julius Peppers is gone. The Panthers need to find some way to fill the pressure void. Only two sacks were acquired in the first two games. Talent is lacking, so it will be up to stunt packages to disrupt Brees. Brees is one of those quarterbacks who welcomes the blitz because it leaves someone in one on one coverage, but give him all day to throw and it will spell disaster.
  • Everybody wants a piece of the Saints. The Saints haven’t won by a margin of more than five all year long. It seems like teams bring their A game when taking on the champs. The Panthers could pump some life into their organization if they got a signature win over the Saints. The Saints lost at home last week to the Falcons, and the Panthers would love to duplicate that performance.

Wrap Up:

In my sports picks last week, I went against the Bills because the Patriots have an explosive offense and the Bills are Terrible. This is sort of the same scenario, except the Saints have battled for their lives every game this season. I don’t think the Panthers win this one, but I don’t think they lose by 14 either. The Panthers are going to rack up some serious yards on the ground. I think the Panthers could put up 21 points against the Saints. Without Reggie Bush to worry about, the Saints are going to struggle to put up 35+. They haven’t broken 30 all year long, and opponents are capitalizing on their vulnerabilities more each week. Too big of a spread for a Panther team who has sorely underachieved on both sides of the ball.

Free NFL Pick: Carolina +14



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