NFL 2018 Season - Week 14
 

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Overview
by Dennis Ranahan

They are going to have a party in New Orleans tonight and we are all invited. They are going to honor the quarterback that led them to a Super Bowl win and gave their long suffering Saints franchise reason to celebrate.

His name is Drew Brees, and he couldn’t be a nicer guy. Everyone that knows him, likes him.

That is everyone except opposing defenses, he has treated them very rudly while slicing and dicing their attempts to blunt his gaudy passing stats. In fact, tonight Brees will become the all-time passing yardage leader. He begins the evening in third place on that list, behind Brett Favre and all-time passing yardage leader Peyton Manning.

Before the first quarter is over tonight, in all likelihood, Brees will have already moved into second place on the passing yardage list, he is only 98 yards behind Favre, 71,740 to 71,838. Just ahead, and probably overtaken late in the third quarter of tonight’s game, is Manning. In his Hall of Fame career, Payton amassed 71,940 passing yards.

Which means this, with 260 yards passing tonight Brees will become the first quarterback in National Football League history to throw for 72,000 yards.

Now, while Brees is piling up offensive stats against the Redskins defense, the suspect Saints stop unit may well take the brunt of Alex Smith’s attack.

The Redskins quarterback is no slouch, and when a good quarterback comes up against a bad defense, all sorts of fireworks can factor into the final result.

The opening line on this game had the home standing Saints a seven point favorite, and early money jumped on the points with the visiting Redskins. While the public kept betting Brees and his Saints, the line continued to drop through last night. It bottomed out at New Orleans minus 5½ points.

Today, the books have surrendered to the public money and moved the line back up to New Orleans by six points.

From where I sit, I see a potential party in the Big Easy tonight while Brees soars to the top of the passing charts. What I don’t want to do is get on the wrong side of partygoers in New Orleans. And yet, while the Saints are celebrating Brees tonight, the Redskins seem to have the firepower to make the final score interesting. Whether it will be interesting enough to fall within the spread, or the unlikely scenario of an outright Washington win, seems too risky of a choice for me to recommend the home team or underdog.

But, because it is a nationally televised game and you may want me to offer some counsel, which in truth I already have by not recommending a wager, I will offer this advice.

Like Shooter in the movie Hoosiers told his basketball players, “Don’t get caught watching the paint dry,” to advise them not to get called for too long in the lane, I say this; Don’t get caught rooting against points tonight. The over/under line on this game opened at 51 and currently sits at 51½.

Can the Redskins stop Brees?

Not likely.

Can the Saints shutdown Smith?

Probably not.

Will this be a high scoring game?

I’m betting it is.