The weekend is right around the corner, which means it is time for some New Orleans Saints Week 9 bold predictions. They will host the Baltimore Ravens at the Caesars Superdome for a Monday Night Football showcase.
Following a two-game losing streak, the Saints bounced back with a dominating 24-0 shutout win over the Las Vegas Raiders last week. The team is now 3-5 and finds itself third in the NFC South.
On the other hand, the Ravens seem to be on pace for a playoff bid. They are 5-3 and at the top of the AFC North. However, things could be going even better for Lamar Jackson and company this season. In all three of its losses, Baltimore had a double-digit lead at some point before allowing game-changing comebacks.
Even if the teams are in very different spots at this point in the season, a Monday Night Football matchup is always must-see. With that being said, here are three bold predictions for the Saints as they face the Ravens in Week 9.
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3. Alvin Kamara has his best rushing game of the season
One of the most important players for the Saints in recent years has been Alvin Kamara. The five-time Pro Bowler has cemented his name as one of the best running backs in football since he was drafted. However, Kamara has struggled to meet expectations in 2022 so far, especially on the ground.
In six games, he has registered 95 carries for 413 yards and just one touchdown. He ranks outside the top-20 in rushing yards, even falling behind a pair of quarterbacks. He also has only one 100-yard game this season, barely reaching triple-digits against the Seattle Seahawks.
.@A_kamara6 takes it to the 🏡!
📺: #LVvsNO on CBS
📱: Stream on NFL+ https://t.co/ptBgfqVOBM pic.twitter.com/xxsHsxrkD0
— NFL (@NFL) October 30, 2022
With game on the ground not as dominant as it has been in the past, at least Kamara is compensating through the air. He has caught 33 out of his 45 targets for 287 yards and two touchdowns this season, and has two games with more than 90 receiving yards. Kamara is the Saints’ second-leading receiving, only behind rookie Chris Olave.
The bold prediction is that Kamara will have his best rushing performance of the season on Monday. Fans can expect a lot of action coming from him, which might result in 100-plus yards and multiple scores.
2. Taysom Hill has another crazy stat line
Perhaps one of the biggest surprises of the season is the all-around game of Taysom Hill. “The Human Swiss Army Knife” is having his big breakout year, showing the NFL he really can play multiple positions at a high level.
In 2022, the tight end is the team’s second-leading rusher with 337 yards. He also leads New Orleans with five touchdowns on the ground, more than half of the team’s scores. Hill has caught three passes for 16 yards and a score, and also has 69 return yards. Most notably, Hill has completed six passes for 75 yards and one touchdown.
His best game came in Week 5 against the Seattle Seahawks. Hill recorded nine carries for 122 yards and three touchdowns, including a 60-yard run. He also completed one pass for a 22-yard touchdown and recovered a fumble on special teams. For his performance, Hill was named the NFC Offensive Player of the Week.
Taysom Hill in a 39-32 win vs. the Seahawks : 9 carries for 112 yards & 3 TD's; 22-yard TD pass & a fumble recovery (1st player in franchise history since Archie Manning to have 3 rushing TD's & a TD pass in the same game) pic.twitter.com/lEzIGVxh4D
— Lee Harvey (@MusikFan4Life) October 9, 2022
Hill will have another crazy stat line on Monday. Expect him to get many yards on the ground but also attempt some passes. It would not be a surprise if the Saints target him as a passer and utilize him on special teams, too. It might be difficult for Hill to replicate his Week 5 numbers, but it could happen against the Ravens.
1. New Orleans keeps it a close game but still loses
Despite what Kamara and Hill can produce, the Ravens are still the better team. Baltimore’s offense is No. 2 in the NFL with 1,325 yards, while the defense is in the top-10 with 23 sacks. The dual-threat abilities of quarterback Lamar Jackson and his connection with tight end Mark Andrews deserve extra attention. Plus, even if the defense stops them, kicker Justin Tucker can seal the deal.
Still, it should be a close game. According to FanDuel, the Ravens are the favorites to win. However, the spread is just -2.5. This means that even with the disparity between the two teams, New Orleans should be able to put up a fight.
At the end of the day, the experience of Jackson and Tucker’s clutch kicks should make a difference. The Saints might even carry the lead for some time, but Baltimore will prevail and take an important victory on the road before entering its bye week. New Orleans will be able to take a lot of positives from the contest regardless, crucial as it still hopes to turn things around for a late-season, long-shot playoff push.