Week 2 in the NFL is hardly anything to be too excited about. But this year, the matchup of the season in the NFC that could determine the one-seed down the line means an early game-of-the-year candidate.
Last year’s NFC Championship game should have been won by the Saints. A non-call on an obvious pass interference penalty forced the Saints to settle for a field goal on the game’s final drive, resulting in overtime. But the Rams defense held serve in the extra frame with an interception of Drew Brees to set up the winning field goal en route to a Super Bowl defeat.
New Orleans Saints at Los Angeles Rams
Sunday, September 15, 4:25 p.m.
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles
*All odds and betting info courtesy of OddsShark and originally posted by BetOnline
Spread: New Orleans (-2 at -110)
New Orleans Saints
The Saints gutted out a close victory in their Monday-night opener over the Houston Texans. A last-second field goal by Will Lutz was the difference in what could have been a disappointing loss for New Orleans.
Alvin Kamara was spectacular, gathering 169 all-purpose yards while his quarterback Drew Brees passed for 370 yards and two touchdowns. Although the offense moved the ball seamlessly and looked like one of the top units in the NFL, the defense left more questions than answers.
New Orleans struggled to contain Deshaun Watson who threw for 268 yards and three touchdowns, two going to DeAndre Hopkins. The passing defense failed to make a major impact and nearly resulted in a loss.
Los Angeles Rams
The Rams also escaped a near-defeat against what has turned out to be an underwhelming Carolina Panthers team. Jared Goff was good when he needed to be but only threw for 186 yards and one touchdown.
Todd Gurley had the best day for the Rams with 14 carries for 97 yards. But it was fellow back Malcom Brown who found paydirt on two occasions, rushing 11 times for 53 yards. He will be the toughest player for the Saints to corral given his power-running style, something the Texans didn’t possess.
Defensively, Los Angeles needs to be better than last year and so far has not been sharp. LA nearly blew their opening game allowing the Panthers to score two touchdowns in the fourth quarter.
Neither team has a strong defense, so this game very well could be a shootout. But the Saints physicality will cause problems for the Rams skill players, something that will wear toward the end of the game.
The Rams have been trending against the spread as of late while both teams are mainly hitting under. But with a pair of strong offenses and a low total set for O/U, we might see a result against the trend.
Pick: The Saints take a close one on the road and exact their revenge, hitting the over. As for the spread they will either push or just barely cover in a game decided by under four points.