Co-Host of WWL's "SportsTalk with Bobby Hebert & Deke Bellavia," Weekdays 4-8PM
Big Chief's Saints-Broncos preview & keys to the game
by Deke Bellavia,posted Oct 28 2012 10:12AM
New Orleans Saints (2-4) @ Denver Broncos (3-3)
Series History – Denver leads 7-2
Last meeting – Denver beat New Orleans 34-32 September 21 20008
What you need to know:
1. Denver is well-rested after taking their bye week last weekend. The Broncos improved to 3-3 after their thrilling 35-24 come-from-behind win over San Diego.
2. If the game is close late, watch out for the White Horses in the 4th quarter. Denver has shut out five of their six opponents in the 4th quarter of games. The Broncos have the second largest point differential in the final quarter through six games in NFL history at +73.
3. The Broncos have won the last three meetings in the series. The only times the Saints have beaten Denver were back in 1994 and in 1988 when the Dome Patrol and QB Bobby Hebert helped the Black and Gold shut out Denver 42-0.
4. Gronk’s are everywhere aren’t they? Did you know that Denver FB Chris Gronkowski is one of three Gronkowski’s in the NFL? Brothers Rob (New England) and Dan are the first trio of brothers in the NFL at the same time since the Baldinger Brothers did it back in 1992.
5. “Peyton is having trouble adjusting to his new team!” Who in the hell said that? The QB that many said is going to be a step off of his old self has passed for 300 yards and three TD’s while completing 70 percent of his passes in the last three games, the first player in NFL history to accomplish that feat. The man is still money!
Keys to the Game
1. Will Elvis show up in the building? If Elvis Dumervil goes off, it could be real trouble for the Saints. Dumervile is once again off to a good start when it comes to taking down opposing QB’s. Elvis did not post a sack in the Broncos’ first two games, but since then he has five in four games, which is second on the Broncos Team.
2. Get’em on 3rd down – The Broncos D allows opponents to convert on 3rd down 45.6% of the time, which is 29th in the league. That’s bad news for Denver and great news for a Saints Offense that ranks 2nd in the league, converting 48.2% of the time on third down.
3. Denver will fumble! If stats mean anything then the Broncos will fumble against the Saints at least one time in the game. Denver has fumbled nine times and lost all nine. And the Broncos are -3 in the turnover margin which is 22nd in the NFL.
4. What pressure? The Broncos have two of the best tackles in the game today in Ryan Claddy and Orlando Franklin. Claddy has been solid since he was selected 12th overall by Denver in the 2008 NFL Draft, and he is currently one of four OT’s in the NFL to not have given up a sack. Franklin is no ordinary second year player in the league. In his rookie season Orlando Franklin became the first RT and just the sixth OL in Broncos history to start every game of the season. Getting pressure on Peyton is going to be very hard to do
5. No one will run, right? The Saints and Broncos have two of the best, not as complete offenses in the NFL today. Both Denver and New Orleans can throw on any team they face, but both are not real worried about running the football. Denver is rushing for 93.8 yards per game and New Orleans is 32nd in the NFL with an average of 76.2. Combined, the Saints and Broncos don’t average as many rushing yards as the Redskins, who average 177 per game, and 49ers, who average 176 per contest. Dayum!
Big Chief’s Final Analysis – This should be an entertaining game that should keep the score-keeper busy. The Broncos and Saints have offenses that think pass first, second and third and then they run. Denver has not been all that great protecting the football and the Saints, although they are 2-4, are even in the turnover margin. I’d stay away from the points here and go with the taking the over. I think this is going to be a very hard game for the Saints to win…but if they do, they could be on a five or six game win streak with two straight home games coming up against Philly and ATL. In a close shoot out I’ll give the nod to the team with the better defense and the team that is playing at home.