BOSTON (CBS) — The Patriots are in the Big Easy this weekend, looking to bounce back after an embarrassing Week 1 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Pats visit the 0-1 New Orleans Saints, the first time the two teams will square off since the 2013 season. Here’s how the CBS Boston crew sees Sunday’s game playing out:
Steve Burton, WBZ-TV Sports
The Patriots put an end to the 19-0 talk when they lost their opener to Kansas City, but I don’t see them losing back-to-back games to star the season.
This is the Saints’ home opener, so they’ll be laser focused. But the Patriots are the better team, and they plan to show it on Sunday in New Orleans.
Patriots 35, Saints 24
Dan Roche, WBZ-TV Sports
If I’m the Saints and Drew Brees, I’m attacking the Patriots defense the same way Kansas City and Alex Smith did: Attack their linebackers and secondary. Lots of passes to the running backs Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara and tight end Coby Fleener. Plus, run right at them with Adrian Peterson, Kamara and Ingram.
As for the Pats offense, Brady and company need to be much more efficient and aggressive. Attack mode time. Hard not to think the Pats won’t respond on Sunday.
Patriots 35, Saints 24
Levan Reid, WBZ-TV Sports
The Pats and the Saints find themselves in a tough spot. Neither team wants to start the season 0-2.
New England may have the upper hand in this one, coming in with a few extra days rest. They’re a veteran team that feels they used that extra time to fix most of those mistakes in Week 1.
The biggest issue the Pats have is injuries, as they’ll likely be without Dont’a Hightower, Danny Amendola and Matthew Slater. They still have Gronk, Brandin Cooks and all the running backs against a very young defense, a squad that Tom Brady should pick apart.
New Orleans has Drew Brees, but he is missing some firepower. Also, they haven’t figured out how they are going to use Adrian Peterson yet. The Saints are not ready to beat the Pats even though this is their home opener.
Patriots 31, Saints 17
Adam Kaufman, WBZ NewsRadio 1030/98.5 The Sports Hub
Most would’ve assumed the Patriots would steamroll the Chiefs Opening Night and, instead, Kansas City outscored New England 21-0 in the fourth for a 15-point win. So, since I expect a closer tilt between the Pats and Saints in Week 2, Bill Belichick will probably preside over a blowout.
Sure, the Pats have a banged up receiving corps and there’s some uncertainty as to whether Tom Brady will lean on Brandin Cooks, Chris Hogan, or one of his pass-catching running backs in the event that Rob Gronkowski is still rusty, but the offensive line is healthy, the QB will have time, and the Saints’ defense made Sam Bradford look like an All-Pro last Monday. The offense will be fine.
Facing Drew Brees in the Dome without Dont’a Hightower is a bigger concern and getting to the quarterback (even with a healthy Hightower) isn’t a strength for New England at the moment, so it’s logical to expect to see more of a conservative approach and reliance on the secondary in a game that may produce a lot of points.
Patriots 31, Saints 21
Mike “Sarge” Riley, WBZ NewsRadio 1030/98.5 The Sports Hub
The Patriots have had too much time to think about their disappointing opening night loss to the Chiefs, and the Saints short week will not be in their favor.
It’s a homecoming for Brandin Cooks, after three seasons in New Orleans and this will be the beginning of the receiver gaining Tom Brady’s trust and scoring at least a pair of touchdowns in the Patriots first win of 2017.
Patriots 26, Saints 21
Tune in to Sunday’s Patriots-Saints game on 98.5 The Sports Hub and WBZ-TV — the flagship stations of the New England Patriots. Pregame coverage begins on 98.5FM at 10am with Patriots Preview and on WBZ-TV at 11:30am on Patriots GameDay. After the game, stay tuned for Patriots 5th Quarter on WBZ-TV and three full hours of postgame coverage on 98.5 The Sports Hub!
Mike Riley and Dan Roche Preview Patriots-Saints