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Bold Predictions: NoLa Saints vs Arizona Cardinals

The Arizona Cardinals come to town to take on the New Orleans Saints in a week 8 showdown at the Superdome. The Cardinals (3-3-1) started the season slowly under first year head coach Kliff Klingsbury, and rookie Kyler Murray, but have since turned things around and found a 3 game win streak. The Saints (6-1) at one month and a Drew Brees injury ago had everyone outside of New Orleans deciding for them their season was over, but stout defensive play and a determined Teddy Bridgewater had better things in mind.

Arizona will most likely be without their star running back David Johnson who has been dealing with several injuries. Johnson did not practice all week, and left after three snaps in last weeks game. Chase Edmonds will get the start in his place and he has certainly shown he is a capable three down back in his limited opportunities to play. The team also welcomed back all world CB and former LSU great Patrick Peterson back to the lineup after a 6 game suspension. The defense plays much better as a unit when Peterson is there, and although their defense ranks #25 that number should continue to get better with his return. The Cardinals offense ranks #18 and has not found the success in the passing game they had hoped for when they hired Klingsbury to bring his college air raid offense to the NFL. The team also has not had their entire starting offense on the field together, expecting to be without their #1 WR Christian Kirk for this game. One person to never underestimate on this team is the ageless WR Larry “Legend” Fitzgerald, who is always one step away from retirement or a big play.

A month after surgery and rehabbing, Drew Brees was cleared to return to practice, and appears to be getting the start. Although, the return of Brees is uplifting to the team, the offense will be missing several starters in Jared Cook, TreQuan Smith, and possibly Alvin Kamara. Latavius Murray showed last week that he can fill in fine for AK41, and Cook’s replacement Josh Hill has been a starter for the team before. The talent and depth of this team is unbelievable, and a strong reason they have continued to succeed in lieu of injuries and suspensions. Another key reason the team has been successful has been the dominant play of the defense. After a shaky couple of games start, the defense really stepped upped when Brees went down. A scary thought is the potential this team has with Brees back and this offense, and the stellar play of the defense.

This game is going to be filled with all kinds uncertainties starting from the game time decisions of who’s playing, to the last whistle of final play. There is no telling what we can expect. So, it’s come that time of the week again where we take a look into the crystal ball, and find out what will happen.

Josh Hill will have a big day.
The Cardinals defense struggles when it comes to covering the TE position. Their defense has given up more yards to TEs than anyone else. Josh Hill has shown in games past that he is as capable catching as a TE as he is blocking. With Brees first game back he will want to find a rhythm, and what easier way then to target their weakness. 7 catches, 93 1 TD

Michael Thomas keeps doing what he has been doing.
In the absence of Brees, Thomas has proven that he is an elite receiver and one of if not the best in the game. His production with backup QB Bridgewater is nearly identical as what he was putting up with Brees. Thomas is the league leader in receiving yards. He really has shown that you cant guard Mike. 9 receptions 137 yards 1 TDs

Saints defense keeps rolling.
The secret is out now that the Saints defense is good. The D will be without a few key players, but that will not slow them down. Cam and Davenport will combine for 3 sacks, and the defense will produce a couple of key turnovers.

Latavius Murray fills in nice for Kamara for the second week.
Last week the Saints fed Murray over and over, and it paid off well. This week Murray will get going and allow the play action to be very effective. Don’t be surprised if you see Ginn make a couple of big plays because of this. Murray will produce nice number rushing and receiving. 21 rushes 121 yards 1 TD, 4 receptions 37 yards

The Dome will be rocking and showing why it is the best home field advantage in any sport.
The return of Brees, as well as Colston and Bush going into the Saints hall of fame is going to have the crowd smoking. The energy the crowd produces will feed the players. Rookie Kyler Murray, has most likely never played in anything like he is going to experience in the Dome. The crowd alone will be responsible for several penalties. 2 false starts 1 delay of game WHODAT!!!
Saints 38 Cardinals 20

All Saints Considered Analyst and Social Media Manager. Follow Gareth on Twitter @GarethCrosby81.