Week 12 Preview: New Orleans Saints vs. Denver Broncosby Jacob Dunne November 27, 2020 0 comments
Week 12 brings football to Empower Field at Mile High as New Orleans Saints take on the Denver Broncos. The Broncos (4-6) are coming off an upset win against the Miami Dolphins while the Saints (8-2) are on a roll after securing their seventh-straight win against the Atlanta Falcons.
Drew Lock bounced back from last week’s disastrous four-interception game to complete 18 of 30 passes for 270 yards and one interception. The Broncos’ running game also got back on track with Melvin Gordon leading the team with 84 yards rushing and two touchdowns while Phillip Lindsay rushed for 82 yards. Tim Patrick had five catches for a career-high 119 yards. Rookie Jerry Jeudy turned his eight targets into just three catches for 37 yards, which was his lowest yardage output since Week 7.
On the other side of the ball, the Broncos racked up six total sacks after not recording a single sack against the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 10. DeShawn Williams led the way with two sacks while Malik Reed chipped in with 1.5 sacks. Justin Simmons picked off Ryan Fitzpatrick in their own end zone with 1:10 remaining to seal the game.
The Broncos need to carry last week’s running success into this week if they want a shot at pulling off the upset. With the Broncos’ passing game averaging just 231.7 yards per game, it’ll be up to the run game to move the ball. Gordon and Lindsay successfully controlled the clock last week by combining for 166 yards rushing. The problem is, the Saints have been holding their opponents to just 74.3 rushing yards per game this season (36.3 over the past three games). If Gordon and Lindsay can’t get the run game going, Lock will need to step up and make plays through the air.
Taysom Hill had a successful debut as the starting quarterback last week. He completed 18 of 23 attempts for 233 yards and finished with a 108.9 quarterback rating. He also added 51 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. Alvin Kamara added 45 rushing yards and a score while being held without a catch for the first time in his career. Michael Thomas had a season-high nine receptions for 104 yards while Emmanuel Sanders had four receptions for 66 yards.
On the other side of the ball, the Saints racked up eight total sacks; Cameron Jordan led the way with three. Jordan has 13.5 sacks over his last 10 road games.
The Saints will need to continue their dominance on defense if they want to come away with the victory in Denver. The Saints are averaging a fourth-best 3.2 sacks per game, with Trey Hendrickson leading the league with 9.5. Last week, the Saints held Matt Ryan out of the end zone while picking him off twice. With the Saints’ offense averaging 29.5 points per game and the defense holding their opponents to just 302.2 total yards per game, expect the Saints to dominate both sides of the ball.
Date: Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020
Start time: 2:05 p.m. MST
Location: Denver, Colo.
Stadium: Empower Field at Mile High
TV Info: CBS
Betting Odds Sponsored by Jazz Sportsbook
Points Spread: NO -6 (-110) | DEN +6 (-110)
Moneyline: NO -275 | DEN +225
Over/Under: O 43.5 (-110) | U 43.5 (-110)
The public has been hammering the under ever since the line opened. The over/under opened up at 46, but it has since gone down to 43.5. Hill will make his first career road start after lighting up the Falcons last week. With the Saints ranked inside the top-five in every major defensive category, expect the Broncos to have a tough time moving the ball. The Broncos recovered well last week after getting shellacked by the Raiders, but the Saints have too much firepower and momentum on both sides of the ball to expect another upset. Look for the Saints to cover the six-point spread.
The Saints start the game off with a rushing touchdown by Hill. Brandon McManus quickly answers with a 57-yard field goal. The Saints score on two consecutive scoring drives to take a 17-3 lead into halftime. Coming out of the break, Lindsay and Gordon together combine for 60 rushing yards on their first drive to set up a three-yard strike to Noah Fant. Midway through the third quarter, Kamara breaks loose for a 20-yard rushing touchdown to take a 24-10 lead. The Broncos and Saints exchange field goals in the fourth quarter. Latavius Murray runs out the clock to secure the victory for the Saints.
Final Score: Saints 27, Broncos 13
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