The New Orleans Saints hit the road for their third game of the NFL preseason, taking on the New York Jets on Saturday night. Both teams are 1-1 in the preseason, with both winning their last outings after dropping their openers.
The Saints are looking to repeat their success of last season, as well as take a step further after dropping the NFC Championship Game at home to the Los Angeles Rams. The Jets are just looking to be playoff contenders, which they could be behind second-year quarterback Sam Darnold and newly-acquired running back Le’Veon Bell.
The moneyline for this contest has the New Orleans Saints -170 and the New York Jets +150. The Saints are favored by 3.5 points, with the over/under being set at 42.5.
Drew Brees will make his first and only appearance of the preseason in Saturday’s contest. Brees will play just a little bit, especially against Jets defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, who doesn’t mind blitzing in the preseason. The veteran has made it a habit of only playing the one game each preseason and will give way to backup Teddy Bridgewater likely at some point in the first quarter.
The story on defense in the Saints’ camp was defensive end Trey Hendrickson, a third-round pick in 2017 out of Florida Atlantic. Hendrickson appeared in only five regular-season games and one playoff game a season ago, but he’s been a force on the practice field and bears watching in this game as well as going forward. New Orleans was happy with the defensive improvement from the opening game to last week, as the Saints gave up 34 points in the opening loss to the Vikings before holding the Chargers to just 17.
Looking To Grow
Darnold didn’t play long against the Falcons last week, but he looked good in the time he was on the field, completing 5 of 7 passes for 46 yards. He’s scheduled to play the first half in this one as he continues to develop as an NFL quarterback. Don’t look for Bell, though, which means Ty Montgomery and Bilal Powell will likely handle a good share of the carries in the first part of the contest.
The Jets’ defense is going through some changes even at this late stage of camp, with linebacker Avery Williamson being lost to a season-ending knee injury this week. Another linebacker, Brandon Copeland, earned a four-game PED suspension, which will hurt the depth of the linebacking corps for the first month. Stephone Anthony was signed this week to help with that, but he’ll need time to get up to speed. New York’s defense also improved a lot from Week 1 to Week 2, going from giving up 31 points to the Giants to holding the Falcons to 10 points.
Jets Earn The Win
New Orleans is playing Brees and Michael Thomas, but they likely won’t be on the field for very long. Meanwhile, Darnold is going to get an entire half of play, which should help the Jets put some points on the board. When playing everyone, the Saints are the better team, but in a preseason game with players sitting, the edge goes to the Jets. I’m taking New York +3.5 in this one.