History can be made to close Week 5 of the NFL season when the Redskins visit the Saints in a showdown of NFC division leaders on Monday Night Football. Saints quarterback Drew Brees needs 201 passing yards to become the NFL’s all-time leader, a record currently held by Peyton Manning with 71,940 yards. Brees comes into this game third on the all-time list and he needs just 99 yards to pass Brett Favre en route to Manning.
The Redskins claimed first place in the NFC East while enjoying their bye week and they’re looking for back-to-back victories following a 31-17 Week 3 win over the Packers on September 23. The Redskins got pressure on Aaron Rodgers for most of the game, sacking him four times, led by two from defensive end Jonathan Allen.
Alex Smith completed 12 of 20 passes for 220 yards, two touchdowns and one interception, adding 20 yards on the ground on seven carries, veteran running back Adrian Peterson had a strong game with 120 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries and tight ends Vernon Davis and Jordan Reed combined to make six catches for 135 yards.
The Redskins are averaging 245.3 passing yards (18th in the NFL) and 137.7 rushing yards (5th). Washington ranks 23rd with 21.3 points per game and 2nd with 14.7 points against. Alex Smith has passed for 767 yards, four touchdowns, and one interception, Adrian Peterson has 236 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 56 carries and Jordan Reed has 14 receptions for 168 yards and one touchdown. Mason Foster has 27 tackles and Matt Ioannidis has three sacks.
New Orleans Saints
The Saints bounced back from their 48-40 Week 1 loss against the Buccaneers with three straight wins, including last Sunday’s 33-18 road victory over the Giants. Drew Brees was the second quarterback in NFL history to throw for over 5,000 yards in a season after Dan Marino, he’s one of only five signal-callers to reach that milestone and the only one to do so in multiple seasons with five.
At 39 years old Brees has shown no signs of slowing down, although his numbers against the Giants were not that impressive by his standards. Brees completed 18 of 32 passes for a season-low 217 yards and no touchdowns, ending a 10-game streak with at least one but he was still effective enough with Alvin Kamara‘s help to lead the Saints on three second-half touchdown drives. Kamara finished with career-highs of 134 rushing yards and three touchdowns.
The Saints are averaging 313.8 passing yards (7th in the NFL) and 104.5 rushing yards (18th). New Orleans ranks 3rd with 34.3 points per game and 29th with 30.3 points against. Drew Brees has passed for 1295 yards, eight touchdowns and no interceptions, Alvin Kamara has 275 rushing yards and five touchdowns on 56 carries and Michael Thomas has 42 receptions for 445 yards and three touchdowns. Demario Davis has 37 tackles and Cameron Jordan has four sacks.
The Washington Redskins are:
4-0 ATS in their last four games after accumulating more than 350 total yards in their previous game
6-2 ATS in their last eight road games against a team with a winning home record
9-4 ATS in their last 13 games against a team with a winning record
6-0 ATS in their last six meetings
4-0 ATS in their last four meetings in New Orleans
The New Orleans Saints are:
1-4 ATS in their last five home games
1-4 ATS in their last five games following an ATS win
2-9 ATS in their last 11 games in Week 5
1-5 ATS in their last six Monday games
The underdog is 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings between these two teams and the Redskins have a much-improved defense with a strong defensive line led by Jonathan Allen that can generate enough pressure on Drew Brees. Alex Smith always takes care of the football and although he may not have a cannon like Patrick Mahomes, he keeps defenses alert while exploiting mismatches in the middle of the field. Brees will break the all-time record for passing yards but the Redskins will cover the spread.
NFL Pick: Redskins +6.5 (-110)
Odds via Jazz Sports
Jake Walker runs OddsandNews.com. You can follow him on Twitter (@Walker_J23)