The New Orleans Saints have beaten the Green Bay Packers, New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers this year. Their opening day win over the Packers, 38-3, remains the only defeat suffered this season by Aaron Rodgers and company.
The Buccaneers showed up in the Big Easy last weekend with only one loss on their season record, and the Saints beat Tom Brady and his defending Super Bowl champions while scoring the most points allowed this year by Tampa Bay, 36.
Okay, the Saints must be pretty good, right?
Well, a closer look at the New Orleans season also shows that they have lost games against a pair of teams that would be considered in the bottom half of the league, the Carolina Panthers and New York Giants.
Also noteworthy, is that their victory over the Buccaneers last week included the loss of starting quarterback Jameis Winston to a season ending knee injury. He was injured early in the second quarter with the score tied at seven. His replacement, veteran backup and one-time starter for the Denver Broncos, Trevor Siemian, was effective if not spectacular against the Buccaneers. In leading the win Siemian completed 16 of 29 passes for 159 yards and a touchdown while not surrendering an interception.
A solid day’s work for the six-year pro out of Northwestern.
But, the Saints may be looking elsewhere to lead their offense for the rest of this season. Taysom Hill, who played in place of Drew Brees last year when the veteran Saints signal caller was sidelined with an injury, is a possibility to return to the quarterbacking starting role now that he is recovered from a concussion protocol that has sidelined him the past month.
The Saints may also look outside the organization for help to fill the void created by the Winston injury. Rumors were flying around this week that New Orleans may sign one-time Super Bowl quarterback Cam Newton. The Patriots released Newton before this season began and handed over their quarterbacking duties to rookie Mac Jones.
While the Saints sort out their quarterback situation, they are favored this week to beat the Atlanta Falcons who visit the Superdome on Sunday.
The Falcons have three wins this season, all against bottom teams. Their victories have come against the two New York teams, the Jets and Giants, and the Miami Dolphins. Last week, at home, the Falcons handed Carolina their first win since September, 19-13.
The Saints were good enough to upset the Buccaneers in a sweet home underdog role last Sunday, but are they good enough to beat a division opponent off that emotional win with questions at their quarterback spot?
I think not.
Qoxhi Picks: Atlanta Falcons (+6) over New Orleans Saints