Saints vs. Cardinals: Five brave predictions

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Sep 13, 2015; Glendale, AZ, USA; New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton and Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians talk after the game at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 13, 2015; Glendale, AZ, USA; New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton and Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians talk after the game at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Saints travel to Arizona this week to play the Cardinals. The Cards were recently eliminated from playoff contention, and the Saints are surely set to follow suit. So let’s have some fun with our five brave predictions!

Predictions, predictions, predictions. After two disappointing performances against the Lions and Buccaneers, the Saints are desperately looking for some signs of life. Well, offensive signs of life. And unfortunately, those may be hard to come by against this stingy Cardinals defense.

Defensively, though, the Saints have reason to hope. They’ve played well recently, and the Cardinals offense has regressed its way to mediocrity. We may be in for another low-scoring game.  But then again, it feels like the Saints always shatter those sorts of expectations.

Anyway, without further ado, the first of my predictions:

The Saints sell out on the run, yet still intercept Palmer twice.

Dec 11, 2016; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) looses control of the ball against the Miami Dolphins during the second half at Hard Rock Stadium. The Miami Dolphins defeat the Arizona Cardinals 26-23. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 11, 2016; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) looses control of the ball against the Miami Dolphins during the second half at Hard Rock Stadium. The Miami Dolphins defeat the Arizona Cardinals 26-23. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /

There’s no doubt the Saints will sell out on the run. The Cardinals offense, once a high-powered aerial attack, has this season devolved into a high-powered David Johnson attack. The all-purpose back leads the NFL in yards from scrimmage by more than 100 yards. He’s dangerous on the ground, but what makes him special is how capable of a pass catcher he is. He has 200 more receiving yards than any other RB. The Saints will do everything they can do keep him in check.

And normally, that would open things up for the passing game. But Carson Palmer, a former MVP candidate, has looked absolutely lost in 2016.

It’s not only that he’s failed to read the field well. He doesn’t seem to make routine throws with any sort of accuracy, and that’s really crippled the offense. He’s not quite at Brock Osweiler levels, but 13 INTs to 20 TDs is not an impressive stat.

He’s not helped by the Cardinals porous offensive line. And against a Saints team that finally gets after the passer, that could spell trouble for the veteran QB.

So under pressure and out of rhythm, I predict that the Saints come away with two picks on the day. And, hell, why not, I’ll predict some players.

Number one: Jairus Byrd. I feel it in my gut. He’s getting one today.

Number two: Roman Harper. Another safety felt right. I almost gave this to Vonn Bell, but a Harper INT would just be oh so sweet. Make it happen #41.

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