The New Orleans Saints have lost three of their last four games and are looking turn things around this week. The Saints are hoping to bounce back after a Week 9 loss as they the Pittsburgh Steelers on the road in Week 10 of the 2022 NFL season. A win here can lift the Saints to second place in the NFC South. Here are our Saints Week 10 predictions as they take on the Steelers.
The Saints are coming off a Week 9 setback to the Baltimore Ravens. In this game, New Orleans only gained 48 yards on the ground on 15 attempts (3.2-yard average). The Saints’ 3-6 start is their worst since 2005. To say this game against the Steelers is a must-win would be an understatement. If the Saints lose again here, some significant changes will need to take place as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, the Steelers return from their bye week well-rested. In Week 8, Pittsburgh was defeated by their in-state rivals, the Philadelphia Eagles quite convincingly. Rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett struggled once more, averaging just 7.6 yards per completion while also throwing an interception. He was sacked six times as well.
With all these in mind, here are our four bold predictions for the Saints in their Week 10 game against the Steelers.
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4. Alvin Kamara goes airborne
The Saints’ game against the Ravens got away from them. It resulted in star RB Alvin Kamara having only nine touches. He did catch three passes, but it was not Kamara’s best day. That will most likely be the exception rather than the rule for him, but we still want to see him rebound in Week 10. As such, he should be back to his usual self this week against the Steelers, who rank about average in run defense.
Since his comeback in Week 5, Kamara has been averaging 22.2 touches and 128.6 total yards. However, his ability to break tackles seems to have deteriorated. That’s balanced, though, by his receiving. With a 21.2 percent target share, he remains an excellent receiver option for the Saints. Take note that he has actually seen 7.6 targets per game over his last five outings.
We have to remember that since Week 5, Pittsburgh has been among the best at limiting the run. For Week 10, this means that Kamara will have to do his damage in the air since he won’t have much luck on the ground. As such, we have Kamara recording a total of 90 yards, with most of them receiving.
AK is now 2nd on the #Saints career yards from scrimmage list ⚜️
1. Marques Colston – 9,766
𝟮. 𝗔𝗹𝘃𝗶𝗻 𝗞𝗮𝗺𝗮𝗿𝗮 – 𝟴,𝟮𝟲𝟯
3. Mark Ingram – 8,245 pic.twitter.com/jPERN8LPhq
— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) November 8, 2022
3. Chris Olave has over 80 yards and a TD
Saints WR Chris Olave has made an immediate impact as the Saints’ top receiver in only his first season. He has had a target share of 27.0 percent and has the most deep targets among wide receivers. In addition, Olave also ranks seventh in receiving grade and ninth in yards per route run according to PFF (minimum 15 targets). Basically, the Saints have a stud in Olave this season.
Keep in mind that the Steelers have shown a propensity to use man coverage a lot this season. Now, while Olave has dominated zone coverage this season, he’s also been outstanding versus man coverage. He even ranks ninth in PFF receiving grades versus man, just ahead of Jaylen Waddle (minimum ten man-coverage targets). Translation? We expect him to have a good day in Week 10. He should easily go past 80 yards plus one TD in this game.
2. Andy Dalton has a fine outing in Week 10
The Ravens were a tough matchup for Saints QB Andy Dalton, but he did throw a touchdown. That’s interesting because it means he has had a touchdown in all six of his Saints starts. This run will almost certainly continue against the Steelers, who rank 21st in DVOA pass defense.
In fact, the Steelers have been very good at making opposing quarterbacks look better than they actually are. Pittsburgh ranks 31st in passing yards allowed per game and 31st in EPA per dropback. These present an enticing opportunity for Dalton to do well in Week 10.
Take note that Dalton ranks fifth overall in PFF passing grade, 15th in yards per attempt, and 12th in adjusted completion rate. He’s certainly not spectacular, but the metrics say he hasn’t been the worst QB out there, too. We could see him have one of his best games of the season against the Steelers. Put him up for 250+ yards, two touchdowns, and one interception here.
1. Saints overcome the Steelers on the road
So far, neither of these squads has lived up to expectations. The Saints offense, which was hailed for adding depth in the offseason, has been erratic. They have even committed a league-high 17 turnovers. The Steelers defense has also struggled. It has allowed 5.9 yards per play, which is among the worst this season.
This game is a toss-up, but it’s so hard to see the Steelers winning even at home. The bright spot for them is that All-Pro LB TJ Watt will return, but that might be a small consolation. The Saints should exploit a porous Steelers defense and proceed to their fourth win of the season. However, this won’t be a lopsided game by any stretch.