By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports
During a 14-season span — 2007 to 2020 – the New Orleans Saints were an underdog at the Superdome a total of 12 times. In the past season-and-a-half, the Saints have played as a home underdog eight times. Monday night’s matchup against Baltimore will make No. 9.
The Superdome used to be one of the most intimidating places in the NFL – especially at night. However, last season the Saints lost all three home primetime games (vs. Buffalo, Miami and Dallas – all as an underdog).
The Ravens (5-3) and quarterback Lamar Jackson enter Monday night’s 7:15 game on ESPN as a favorite of less than a field goal. Jackson enters the game with 17 total touchdowns (15 passing, two rushing).
“There’s mobile quarterbacks, then there’s Lamar Jackson,” Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan said. “You put him in a different bracket. You can probably say (Eagles quarterback) Jalen (Hurts) is similarly fast, but you’re not going to meet too many quarterbacks that run like Lamar does. If you look at what he’s able to do in the air, on the ground, I think he’s explosive in everything he does.”
The Saints’ offense is forced to move forward without Michael Thomas, whose comeback attempt was limited to three games. This week, New Orleans (3-5) revealed he would miss the rest of the season due to toe surgery.
Despite Thomas’ absence and a rough start, the Saints entered Week 9 just one game out of the lead in the NFC South.
Saints running back Alvin Kamara couldn’t find the end zone in his first five games of the season, but recorded one rushing and two receiving scores last week. He is certainly a capable star willing to shoulder the offense, including an increased workload.
“My offseason is harder than the season,” Kamara told the media Friday. “In the offseason, I prepare for hell. Even though the season is more controlled, I try to put my body through a lot of stress in the offseason.
“I’m just doing all the things to prepare my body to go to war every week for 18, 19 weeks, 20 weeks. I’m ready for the load. I think I always said, I’m not worried about a load. I’ll take as much as they give me.”
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