As a road favorite in this game, the Saints are an interesting bet. Their offense is loaded today with stars, while the Saints’ defense has been capable of containing opposing offensive threats to limit turnovers. Both teams are legitimate threats to climb up the NFC South standings. It is up to the Saints to win, but that is another matter. Both teams are worth a look.
While the Saints’ offense can’t match the Rams, it has plenty of upside. The Bengals’ offense isn’t as dynamic as their opponent, so Thomas should see a modest bump in targets this week. Boyd will be stifled by the Saints’ secondary. His six targets over 15 yards per game were the lowest totals of his career. Eight to ten targets would be a comfortable projection based on his production over the past two weeks.
The Saints and Bengals have a history dating back to 1970. In their first meeting, the Saints lost 26-6 to Cincinnati, and did not play another game for five years. They won two more games after that loss, but the Bengals won three consecutive from 1994 to 2010.
The Saints are trying to make amends for the loss to the Rams in the NFC Championship game. While the Bengals have been inept at containing mobile quarterbacks in recent years, a Saints win in London would be the perfect game to settle some scores. It will be a long road trip so it is not surprising that the Bengals lose at home. The Bengals will have the best home-field advantage of any NFL team if the Saints win.
After Tom Benson purchased the Saints franchise, Jim Mora and Jim Finks joined the team as general managers and head coaches. They combined to produce the first winning season for the team in years, and it was the first NFC playoff game since the division was formed in 2002. After losing one game to Minnesota Vikings in a players’ strike, the Saints won the division title in 1987. During that time, the Saints had a strong defense under the leadership of the “Dome Patrol” linebacker corps. The team won three division titles, one playoff game, and never won a Super Bowl.
Ingram’s touchdown play in the second quarter helped tie the game. A missed tackle by linebacker Jordan Evans gave Ingram a free run and a touchdown. The game was tied at 14-7. The Saints then left the stadium a few minutes later. A close game like this is rare, but the Saints have a history of dominating in the NFC South. And it looks like they will be able to pull it out again in a tight game this season.
The Saints’ color rush program was introduced before the 2016 season. The Color-Rush uniform featured a white jersey top with old gold numbers and gold sleeve stripes. It was a throwback from the team’s glory years between 1975 and 1985. This era-reflective look was worn on the road against the Carolina Panthers, and the Saints wore it twice more after the season ended.