NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The Saints and Washington have been a pair of wildly inconsistent football teams this season. Neither team has been above .500 this far.
Washington can equal last year's win total of four on Sunday. The Saints can climb back up the mountain to .500 for the second time this season in victory.
For the Saints, that would seem imperative for the morale of the team and its fans. To lose a second straight game as a favorite is not the way you want to head into the bye week for which no team in the NFL will wait longer to do so.
The Saints defense would appear to face a challenge similar to the one Marcus Mariota and the Titans posed last week. With a sputtering rushing attack and a lack of deep receiving threats unless Desean Jackson returns to form, the home team figures to settle for a lot of quick passes to underneath receivers.
Washington's 6.3 yards per pass attempt is last in the NFL. But the scheme has also permitted Kirk Cousins to be sacked just nine times - lowest in the league per drop-back.
The Saints couldn't go to Mariota one time last week, the third time this season they've failed to sack the quarterback - all losses. They've lost 10 in a row overall when they haven't dropped the opposing QB.
Defensively, the home team hasn't been very effective in that regard either - one sack registered in the last three games. But still, they've haven't allowed a 300 yard passer this season, along with only the Vikings and Broncos.
The kicking game provides an interesting sidebar. Washington with Dustin Hopkins, whom the Saints cut in pre-season. The Saints with Kai Forbath, whom Washington cut in favor of Hopkins, and who has been prominent in a Saints victory and a defeat the last two weeks.