QB: Drew Brees
RB: Pierre Thomas
FB: Jed Collins
TE: Jimmy Graham
Offense Rank: 3rd
Pass Offense Rank: 1st
Rush Offense Rank: 32nd
Offense Rank: 6th
Pass Offense Rank: 4th
Rush Offense Rank: 23rd
Saints: Drew Brees is as good as it gets in the NFL. Brees on the year has 2097 yards passing, 18 TD's and 7 Ints. The Broncos secondary is going to have their hands full with Brees. Drew Brees is 0-4 in Denver, so that's always good, but still will be tough. The Broncos need to get after Brees and rush him into making mistakes. Brees does have 7 INTs, so he is prone to turnovers. Like two weeks ago, the Broncos need to create turnover and capitalize on them.
Broncos: Peyton Manning is having an MVP type year right now. Manning has 1808 yards, 14 TD's and only 4 INT's so far this season. Manning has had 3 straight 3 TD and 300 yard games and this New Orleans defense isn't striking the fear into many QB's in the league. Last week the Saints gave up 400 yards to Bucs QB Josh Freeman, so we can only imagine what someone of the caliber Peyton Manning can do to this defense. The Broncos just need to start quick, and not rely on a second half comeback Sunday Night.
The Running Backs:
Saints: The Saints running attack is dead last (32nd) in the league rushing. There's a few reasons why, 1. They have been a pass happy team, a one dimensional team. and 2. They're not a very good rushing team. I have watched a couple Saints game and I came away very underwhelmed about their rushing attack. Leading the Saints on the ground is Pierre Thomas with 214 yards and 1 TD. Mark Ingram has 127 yards and the always dangerous Darren Sproles has 118 yards. I'm not too worried about this group, but I'd still rather not see the ball in the hands of Sproles at all Sunday Night.
Broncos: The Broncos rushing attack should have a good day Sunday Night. The Saints defense is on a historically bad pace, so I expect McGahee and Hillman to gain good yardage on the ground. McGahee on the year has 432 yards and 3TD's so far this year. Rookie runner Ronnie Hillman 50 yards rushing and Lance Ball has 45. The Broncos need to get something out of one of these backups. It looks like Hillman has surpassed Ball on the depth chart and the #2 back and 3rd down back. I'm hoping for Hillman to break a few big plays this weekend, but I have been saying that for a couple weeks now. The Broncos should have a successful rushing attack Sunday Night.
The Receivers/Tight Ends:
Saints: With Drew Brees at QB the Saints get everybody involved in the passing game. The Saints have the #1 passing attack in the league, and Brees has plenty of weapons to throw too. Leading the team in receptions is Marques Colston with 35 receptions for 517 yards and 5 TD's. Second on the team in receptions is a very familiar name, Darren Sproles. Sproles has 32 receptions for 267 yards and 3 TD's. Behind him is Lance Moore with 28 receptions for 408 yards and dangerous tight end Jimmy Graham who has 25 receptions for 252 yards and 3 TD's. So Brees spreads the ball around to all his weapons. It will be difficult for the Denver defense to cover all these guys consistently. TE Jimmy Graham is recovering from an injury and isn't a slam dunk to play Sunday Night. Personally I would not shed a tear if he sat out a second straight game Sunday night.
Broncos: The Broncos main two receivers Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas lead the team in receptions and yards. Eric Decker has 34 receptions for 441 yards and 3 TD's and DT has 32 receptions for 542 yards and 3 TD's. Behind them is TE Jacob Tamme who has 23 receptions and the ageless Brandon Stokley who has 19 receptions, 3 of which were TDs. Joel Dreessen who has been getting more involved in the Broncos offense lately has 17 receptions for 152 yards and 3 TDs. Manning has been spreading the ball around some too, but has targeted Decker and DT the most. I expect a big game from either/or Decker or DT this week. As I said earlier this Saints defense is bad, so big plays can be had from both of these guys. Wouldn't surprise me if DT took a screen play to the house Sunday Night (You heard it here first!).
Saints: The New Orleans Saints OL ranks 10th in the league. They have only allowed 12 sacks and 26 QB hits. Runners have totaled 457 yards rushing(3.7YPC) on the ground. They protect Brees, but don't do the greatest of job in the run game.
Broncos: The Broncos OL ranks 5th in the league. The Broncos OL has allowed only 10 sacks and 21 QB hits. So Ryan Clady and gang have blocked well for Peyton Manning in the last few weeks. As I keep saying, the Saints do not have the best Defense, so I can only expect these numbers to improve.