Every week during the season, we’ll scout out the Cowboys next opponent. This weekend, that opponent is the New Orleans Saints.
The Opponent: The New Orleans Saints, aka the Archie Mannings, aka WHO DAT?!!?!?!!, aka that really good team.
Record: 13-0, 1st in NFC South.
The Line: Saints by 7. Also, this is a Saturday Night game on NFL Network. You Dallas locals can watch the game on TXA 21. If you live outside Dallas and don’t have NFLN, best get your sweet behind to a bar of some sort. Stupid NFL Network.
Last Game: A tight 26-23 win in Atlanta against a Falcons team without Matty Ryan or Michael Turner. This is the second game in a row the Saints have barely escaped by the skin of their teeth. You could say that’s what makes them so hard to beat. You could also say they’re living on borrowed time.
The Coach: Sean Payton. Know how Wade looks confused and goofy on the sidelines all the time? Sean Payton is the exact opposite of that.
The Offense: Uhhhh… you probably don’t want to hear about he Saints offense. You really don’t. It’s just gonna make you sad. No? Still wanna hear it? Well, okay. Your funeral. Through 13 games, this is already the second highest scoring offense in league history. The Saints have outscored opponents at home by an average of over 15 points. They have the best four-deep wideout corps in the league, and that unit is only improving by the week. They even make use of Jeremy Shockey from tiem to time. The Saints also get the ball to Reggie Bush on flat routes to great effect, and can run the ball with Pierre Thomas and Mike Bell (when healthy) as well as anyone in the league. Drew Brees is the MVP candidate quarterback of all this. He is quite good, from what I’ve heard.
The Defense: You can score on the Saints defense, but that’s practically beside the point. They’ll let you score, but they won’t let you score more than the 35 points their O regularly hangs up. Ex-Viking and Packer Darren Sharper leads the ball hawking secondary, and the pass rush is quite skilled. Like I said, you’ll score on them. You just won’t score enough.
Key Matchup: New Orleans vs. The Law Of Averages. At this point, the only time the Saints seem to offer a lackluster performance is away from the Superdome. But the Cowboys don’t have the luxury of facing them in JerryWorld this go round. Still, the best hope for Dallas is that they catch New Orleans on that rare day where they come out inexplicably flat and can’t snap out of it. I would put not money on it.