NFL Picks: Backup QB's in Play for Saints vs. Packers Warrant 'Under' Play

David Lawrence

Wednesday, September 2, 2015 1:55 PM UTC

Wednesday, Sep. 2, 2015 1:55 PM UTC

Don’t expect Brees to play more than a single series. As for the Packers, Rodgers has the rest of the preseason off. It’s going to be up to the other players to handle the workload for these teams.

What We Know About The Coaches
Sean Payton of New Orleans is 21-20 in the preseason, 0-3 this year, after his Saints lost 27-13 to Houston on Sunday. Mike McCarthy of Green Bay is 19-19 in the preseason, 1-2 this year, after his Packers lost 39-26 to Philadelphia. There’s not much of a point in rendering a verdict on this game, especially not when Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers are going to be non-factors. This is even.

Edge: Even


Quarterback Rotation
Since this is the final preseason game, the Saints need to learn a lot more about the men who will be backing up Drew Brees during the regular season. Luke McCown and Garrett Grayson. Sean Payton has expressed concerns about Grayson’s time management, so Grayson has a lot of incentive to improve on that and other fronts in this game.

For Green Bay, there’s one basic mystery in play at the quarterback position: Brett Hundley will certainly get several series – almost two quarters if not a full half – but Scott Tolzien, who has already locked up the number two spot behind Rodgers, suffered a concussion and missed last week’s loss to Philadelphia. Concussions are serious business, but now that Tolzien has been cleared to play, Mike McCarthy has a tough choice as Packer coach: Does he play Tolzien a lot, or just a very little? If Tolzien plays a quarter and a half or more, will he be crisp or sluggish? Ultimately, these are hard questions to answer, but if you’re a bettor, you’d probably want to lean to the team whose quarterbacks don’t have any concussion issues or questions. Give an edge to the Saints here.

Edge: Saints


Team Depth & Rotations
The Saints will be without backup strong safety Vinnie Sunseri, injured against Houston. They will continue to rest multiple members of their secondary, safety Kenny Vaccaro and cornerback Brandon Browner.

The Packers won’t play starting right offensive tackle Bryan Bulaga after he suffered what appears to be a minor injury against the Eagles. Safety Micah Hyde had a neck spasm, so he should also get some rest in this game. Green Bay receiver Randall Cobb will also miss this game with an injury.

Give a slight edge to the Saints – the Packers get so much production from players who will not be on the field in this one.

Edge: Saints


Outlook & Pick
This is a huge toss-up on the side as the Saints played Drew Brees just one series last week while the Packers didn’t even bother with Rodgers. That means we’ll see as much if not less of both. Payton is 1-8 in preseason Week 4 while McCarthy is 3-6. Given those factors and that a number of offensive starters should be rested, go with the under.

NFL Pick: Under 

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