The Cardinals get DeAndre Hopkins back into the lineup, but they lost Marquise Brown to a foot injury and decided to make a trade for Robbie Anderson. The Saints are missing a ton of players on the offensive side of the ball, but they gain back Chris Olave, and they will have a decision to make with Jameis Winston being back.
Vegas Line: Cardinals -2
Saints: IR: LT Trevor Penning. Out: WR Michael Thomas, WR Jarvis Landry, TE Adam Trautman, LG Andrus Peat, CB Marshon Lattimore. Questionable: RB Mark Ingram, CB Paulson Adebo.
Cardinals: Out: WR Marquise Brown. Questionable: RB James Conner, RB Eno Benjamin, RB Darrell Williams, LG Justin Pugh, C Rodney Hudson, Edge Dennis Gardeck, LB Zaven Collins, CB Trayvon Mullen, S Jalen Thompson, K Matt Prater.
Data to Know Provided by TruMedia
Saints Offense vs. Cardinals Defense
- Andy Dalton is averaging 6.9 yards per attempt, 8.6 air yards per attempt, and a 3.6% touchdown pass rate to begin this season.
- Jameis Winston is averaging 7.5 yards per attempt, 11.5 air yards per attempt, and a 3.5% touchdown pass rate to begin this season.
- It’s unclear who will be starting for the Saints, and both quarterbacks have different advantages vs. the Cardinals’ defense.
- The Cardinals’ are blitzing at the third-highest rate in the NFL and have played one of the lowest amounts of man coverage outside of Week 1.
- Dalton has been more effective against the blitz this year, while Winston has played poorly.
- Winston has been more effective against zone coverage, while Dalton has struggled.
- Chris Olave has gotten targeted on 30% of his routes vs. zone coverage.
- Marquez Callaway and Tre’Quan Smith have run over 70% of the routes the last two weekends.
- Alvin Kamara has had over a 20% target share in back-to-back weeks.
- Juwan Johnson ran over 80% of the routes last weekend.
- The Cardinals allow 2.1 yards per route run to tight ends this season and 1.6 yards per route run to players aligned out wide.
- Olave has primarily played out wide this year.
- In the running back room, it’s Kamara and Mark Ingram.
- Taysom Hill will also steal the occasional red-zone carry.
- The Cardinals have allowed just 4.4 yards per carry this year.
Cardinals Offense vs. Saints Defense
- Kyler Murray is averaging 5.8 yards per attempt, 6.6 air yards per attempt, and a 2.4% pass touchdown rate to begin this season.
- Murray lacks efficiency but has the volume to make up for it, as he has thrown the third-most passes in the NFL this season.
- The Saints have allowed 7.4 yards per attempt, 8.1 air yards per attempt, and a 4.7% touchdown rate.
- They play man coverage at the 12th-highest rate and blitz at the 29th-highest rate in the NFL.
- With DeAndre Hopkins on the field, Murray averages 7.7 yards per attempt, 7.9 air yards per attempt, and a 5.3% pass touchdown rate.
- Marquise Brown had over a 25% target share vs. man coverage, zone coverage, and when Murray was blitzed.
- Hopkins doesn’t have any competition to face when returning this week and will see plenty of work in the offense.
- Robbie Anderson will be the field stretcher, and I expect him to be rotated in with A.J. Green.
- Rondale Moore has stayed in the slot, and I expect his role to stay the same.
- Zach Ertz has been a consistent target for Murray, the only active player with over 30 targets this season.
- James Conner will get the lead role if he is active. Without him, that role will default to Eno Benjamin.
- The Saints are giving up 4.6 yards per carry and have allowed three running backs over 80 yards rushing this season.
The Saints’ quarterback situation will be the biggest swing to the matchup. If Dalton starts, I will bump up Kamara, as I believe they will utilize him out of the backfield. We will consequently see a high reception total for him. If Winston starts, I will bump up Olave, as I believe Winston will attempt to take deep shots against this defense and throw over the zone coverage.
The Cardinals’ wide receiver room is going to be a less-than-ideal situation to predict. I expect Hopkins not to play over 85% of the routes, but when he is on the field, we will see him frequently involved in the offense. Anderson will see enough snaps to have opportunities to make plays down the field, because his route tree is not schemed up and is more reliant on his speed.
- Alvin Kamara
- DeAndre Hopkins
- Chris Olave
- Robbie Anderson
- Juwan Johnson
- Kyler Murray
- Jameis Winston/Andy Dalton
- Eno Benjamin
- Taysom Hill
- Cardinals D/ST
- Will Lutz
- A.J. Green
- Keaontay Ingram