The New Orleans Saints are winners of six in a row and don’t appear to be slowing down despite taking some cheap shots from opponents. The Saints will try to keep their cool and make it seven straight when they visit the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.
New Orleans rookie cornerback Marshon Lattimore was taken out from behind by Tampa Bay’s Mike Evans last week, leading to a one-game suspension for the wideout and confirming the belief of the Saints’ secondary that they are in opponent’s heads. “Man, the swag level of this secondary is unmatched right about now,” cornerback De‘Vonte Harris told reporters. “You got guys getting in guys’ heads for the most part, and they ain’t liking it. With us being young, they’re not liking it. But we’re not here for them to like it.” The Bills will try to attack that secondary with a passing attack that sits 30th in the league at an average of 186.9 yards. Quarterback Tyrod Taylor threw for 285 yards last week at the New York Jets, but Buffalo committed three turnovers and was behind 27 points before a pair of touchdowns late made the score a slightly more respectable 34-21.
TV: 1 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Saints -3. O/U: 46.5
ABOUT THE SAINTS (6-2): The defense has been the biggest improvement for New Orleans from last season, but adding some balance to the offense with the running game is also helping. Mark Ingram and rookie Alvin Kamara combine for 852 rushing yards and seven TDs and contribute to the passing game as well with a combined 533 receiving yards. “It’s game by game,“ Saints coach Sean Payton told reporters of his team’s reliance on the running game. ”But we felt we would be improved rushing the football this year. And certainly, we made a concerted effort, and it was a point of emphasis. And we gotta continue to do that.”
ABOUT THE BILLS (5-3): Buffalo has yet to lose at home and got a new weapon for Taylor with a trade for wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin last week. Benjamin, who recorded 32 receptions for 475 yards and two TDs for Carolina before being dealt for draft picks, is expected to make his Bills debut on Sunday. “A team is never made up of just one guy,” Buffalo coach Sean McDermott told reporters in reference to Benjamin. “So, let’s get over that. Let’s get past that. He will integrate into what we’re doing and add to what we’re doing. We’ve got good players already in this building, and we were able to add another good player with Kelvin. I expect him to embed into what we’re doing and work on being, A, a good teammate and B, learning the system.”
1. Saints LT Terron Armstead (chest) and S Kenny Vaccaro (groin) both missed practice this week and are questionable for Sunday.
2. Bills CB E.J. Gaines (hamstring) missed the last three games but returned to practice on a limited basis this week and is questionable.
3. New Orleans took the last four in the series, including wins in its last two trips to Buffalo.
PREDICTION: Saints 28, Bills 24