The New Orleans Saints are 1-3 yet they continue to be given respect each week. The latest sign of respect is FanDuel having the team favored by 5.5 points against their Week 5 opponent, the Seattle Seahawks, who are 2-2.
Seattle, like New Orleans a year ago, is dealing with losing their longtime quarterback over the offseason but Geno Smith has played pretty well. He and the Seahawks offense have carved teams up, including dropping 48 points on the Dan Campbell-led Lions a week ago.
Madden thinks Smith and the Seahawks will put up points in this matchup but what do they think the final score will be? Let's look at this week's Madden sim.
Madden sim for Week 5 - Saints 20, Seahawks 34
Woof. Not only does Madden think the Seahawks offense will feast once again but they don't see New Orleans being able to keep it close.
Smith and the Seahawks strike almost instantly, scoring on their third play of the game when the former West Virginia quarterback connects on a 67-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Lockett. Just like that, it's 7-0 Seattle.
On their first offensive drive, Chris Olave has a 24-yard reception but otherwise, the Saints can't do much else and are forced to punt. Fortunately for them, punt returner Dee Eskridge muffs the punt and the Saints recover for an immediate red zone opportunity. Four plays later, it's 7-7, as Andy Dalton hooks up with Olave for an 11-yard score.
The Seahawks take over for the rest of the half, scoring two more touchdowns when Rashaad Penny breaks loose on a 17-yard touchdown run and Smith finds Lockett for another touchdown, this time from 28 yards out. It's 21-7 Seahawks at the half and the Saints HAVE to get something going in the second half.
They have a promising first drive to kick off the second half that finishes with Alvin Kamara catching a 4-yard touchdown pass from Dalton to cut the Seahawks' lead to seven points.
Seattle's defense makes a play on the next Saints' possession when Shelby Harris hits Dalton, who fumbles. Penny runs the ball in six plays later to make it a 28-14 Seahawks lead.
Smith takes the ball in himself to top off the Seahawks' next offensive possession to make it a 21-point lead and the Saints enter garbage time midway through the fourth quarter. Dalton goes 8-of-8 on the ensuing drive and hits Juwan Johnson in the end zone for a 6-yard touchdown to make the score a little more respectable. Wil Lutz misses the extra point though.
Dalton finishes the game with 303 passing yards, three touchdowns, and the lost fumble while getting sacked twice. Kamara rushes for 27 yards and has 45 receiving yards with a touchdown. Olave leads the way in receiving yards with 79 off of 8 catches.
For the Seahawks, Smith throws for 367 yards, two touchdowns, and 14 rushing yards with a touchdown. Penny has two scores while dashing for 97 yards. Lockett leads Seattle in receiving yards with 102 and two scores.
It's not a good showing for the NOLA offense but Pete Werner finishes with 13 tackles and Marcus Davenport has two sacks.
This would be a depressing outcome for the New Orleans Saints if the game were to turn out like this. Hopefully, Madden is wrong.