The New England Patriots head into the second week of the 2017 season licking their wounds from a week one thrashing at the hands of the Kansas City Chiefs. However, things look much better going into their matchup with the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.
After seeing the offense sputter in the second half against the Chiefs, Tom Brady and the group look to have a much better week. It helps that they have a great matchup on their hands. Here’s what to expect from the team with this week’s Over/Under.
Brady goes for 350 yards and four touchdowns
Brady was held in check for the most part against the Chiefs, only totaling 267 yards passing and no touchdowns. Look for that to change drastically this week.
The Saints defense allowed Minnesota Vikings’ quarterback Sam Bradford to throw for 346 yards and three scores in their week one matchup. It’s no secret that Brady is a far superior quarterback, and if he gets the protection he did in the first half against Kansas City, he’ll go off for a huge day.
Factor in another week to get comfortable with Brandin Cooks as a receiver, and no big-time safety to take Rob Gronkowski out of the mix, the trio of Brady, Cooks, and Gronkowski could be due for some big numbers.
Mike Gillislee gets his first 100-yard rushing game as a Patriot
Fantasy owners like me were absolutely thrilled with Gillislee’s production against the Chiefs. His three rushing touchdowns made him a high-scorer at the running back position in week one, but as for his total yardage? Not so much.
Don’t expect the former Buffalo Bill to see the endzone that many times this week, but do expect him to get more carries and better yardage.
Gillislee totaled 45 yards rushing against the Chiefs on 15 carries, and was not targeted in the passing game. Despite playing the most snaps out of the running back group, just ahead of James White.
Vikings rookie running back Dalvin Cook, on the other hand, erupted for 127 yards rushing on 27 touches against the Saints as the main back for the Minnesota offense, ahead of free agent pickup Lartavius Murray. Cook and Gillislee play a pretty similar style in the rushing game, so expect offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels to give Gillislee a heavier load this week.
If the offense works out that way, Gillislee will gain a decent amount of yards, enough to put him over the century mark for the game. Just don’t expect the same touchdown numbers with the Patriots’ passing game being a huge deep threat this week.