Free NFL Picks New Orleans at Arizona 10-10-2010

October 10, 2010


New Orleans Saints at Arizona Cardinals

October 10th, 2010 4:05 EST

Line: New Orleans -7


The Cardinals are trying to keep their head above water. They are 2-2, but they have suffered two blowouts in their losses. Last week they lost by 31 to a Chargers team who was missing key weapons. The Saints have a huge target on their back as the defending champions, which might account for all of their games being decided by less than six points.

Keys to the Game:

  • The Cardinals didn’t draft Jimmy Clausen or go after Donovan McNabb, so they are stuck with Max Hall as their gun slinger. This is awful news if you are Larry Fitzgerald. Max Hall is a project quarterback. There have been late round quarterbacks that come in and need to make an impact eventually in their careers, but starting as a rookie quarterback who undrafted is unprecedented. Max Hall might be playing for Ken Whisenhunt’s job. The decision to let Matt Leinart go is not a popular one at this point, as Cardinals fans wonder what happen to their once dominating offense. Hall no longer has the benefit of having a sure handed receiver on both sides of the field. The Cardinals saw Anquan Boldin as expendable and that has hurt them tremendously. Fitzgerald’s contract is about to expire. If the Cardinals can’t create some sort of future to build around him, don’t be surprised if he walks. The Cardinals could be back at square one in a hurry.
  • The Saints can run the ball again, as Pierre Thomas comes back from injuries. Last week, they ran the ball fairly effectively, but it was only to keep the defense honest. With Thomas, their running game can actually pose a threat. The Panthers and Cardinals are both awful against the run. Since the Saints ran the ball fairly well against the Panthers without Thomas, you can assume they are going to do well on the ground this week against the Cardinals. Unfortunately for the Cardinals, their pass defense is less than stellar. They lack a real pass rushing threat. Kerry Rhodes is good, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is talented, but the Saints have 11 players who have logged a reception this year and five who have a receiving touchdown. Unless the Cardinals make some clones in a hurry, they don;t have the personnel to hold off the Saints.
  • The Saints are going to blitz all day. They run a 4-3, which in most cases relies more on the defensive line to create pressure. In this special case, where you have a quarterback who has little experience and the weight of the world on his shoulders, hitting him with a few linebacker and safety blitzes is going to create chaos. Hitting Hall with different looks and making him feel unsure of his capabilities is going to be Sean Peyton’s goal on Sunday. Nothing spells victory like breaking the spirit of an opposing rookie quarterback.

Wrap up:

It’s about time the Saints really blew someone out of the water. The Cardinals can’t be feeling great after getting demolished last week, so getting abused this week against the Saints probably won’t be great for their team morale. I like the Saints by a long shot.

Free NFL Pick: New Orleans -7

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