New Orleans Saints vs. New York Jets: Storylines, prediction as two struggling teams face off

What are the main storylines, current odds, and our prediction for the Week 14 New Orleans Saints vs. New York Jets matchup?

What are the main storylines and our prediction for this New Orleans Saints vs. New York Jets matchup between two teams struggling in recent weeks? Let’s examine this Week 14 matchup, the current NFL odds, and make a prediction for Saints at Jets.

New Orleans Saints vs. New York Jets prediction | Storylines for Week 14

The form of these two teams coming in is poor, to say the least. The Saints have not won since Week 8, while the Jets have won just once in their last five. Both offenses have been lethargic. The Saints have averaged just 19.6 points per game in the last five weeks, while the Jets have just 18.3 points per game in the last four weeks.

All of this makes for an intriguing situation because the Saints need to win, or their playoff opportunity may very well slip through their fingers. Meanwhile, the Jets are simply trying to build some good feeling within the franchise as they look towards the future.

Can Taysom Hill rebound after a poor showing on Thursday Night Football?

Taysom Hill’s first start of the 2021 season certainly did not go to plan. He completed 19 of his 41 pass attempts for 264 yards and 2 touchdowns. However, Hill threw 4 interceptions as he registered a passer rating of just 44.2. Hill also had a negative Offensive Value Metric, just the third QB to have a grade below zero this season.

Where Hill did add value was with his legs. He carried the ball 11 times for 101 yards, providing a huge spark to the offense. Nevertheless, it wasn’t enough as the Saints fell to a 27-17 loss as they slumped to 5-7 after a 5-2 start.

One element that plays heavily into any prediction for this Saints at Jets game is New York’s struggles on defense. They just allowed Gardner Minshew to throw the ball comfortably against their young secondary. The music to Hill’s ears will be that the Jets have just 4 interceptions this season, as many as Hill threw last week.

Yet, Hill generally struggled against a Cowboys defense that has been exploited by opposing passing games. Yes, the Jets are not as opportunistic as the Cowboys have been this season, but this is not a sudden huge downgrade in the strength of the opponent. The positive is that Hill might not get punished for his mistakes as he did last week, but he still needs to perform significantly better to lead the Saints to victory.

Will the Jets manage to get off to another fast start this week, and can they make it count?

This matchup will be a battle between two teams that have generally struggled early in games. The Jets, however, have broken out of their slump recently. They scored 12 points in the first quarter last week and have averaged 7.3 first-quarter points over the last three games. That improvement has lifted the Jets to the 21st-best offense in the first quarter, averaging 3 points per game.

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Meanwhile, the Saints have averaged just 2 points per game in the first quarter this season. They haven’t scored a single first-quarter point in the last three contests. New Orleans hopes the switch to Hill under center can repair those issues with their offense early in games. If the Saints struggle out of the gate, it could be hard for them with their depleted WR group and Hill coming off a rough first start this season.

Who will prevail in this matchup of defensive-minded and offensive-minded head coaches?

The matchup between the offensive-minded head coach struggling to get consistency from his offense against the defensive-minded coach struggling to get consistency from his defense is fascinating. Both coaches are viewed as two good schematic coaches on their respective sides of the ball.

However, the Saints’ offense has scored just 23 points in the past two weeks. They were averaging just 25 points per game in the three weeks before, which is a significant downgrade on what we’ve come to expect from a Sean Payton-led attack.

Just two years ago, Robert Saleh was receiving plaudits for masterminding the 49ers’ defense that carried them to a Super Bowl. Now he is leading a defense that ranks 32nd in the league and has allowed over 30 points on five occasions in the last seven weeks. They have a young defense that has been destroyed by injuries, but now they need to show some improvement.

Both coaches are going to be under the microscope in the next few weeks. Neither is considered at significant risk of losing their job this offseason, but the way their teams finish out this year will shape the narrative heading into 2022.

Saints vs. Jets betting line and game prediction

  • Spread: Saints -5.5 (Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook)
  • Moneyline: Saints -225, Jets +185
  • Total: 42.5

This is a really tough game to predict because the Hill factor is a huge unknown. They had mixed results with him under center last season, and Hill’s first start this year emphasized the highs and lows he brings to the table perfectly. If he gets it right, he can energize the offense. But if he struggles, the Saints are left scratching their heads.

The positive for the Saints is that even if Hill struggles early, the Jets likely won’t be able to close the door on them. New York has struggled to put together consistent performances, especially on offense. That will keep the Saints in the game, and the experience in other areas of their roster could be the difference in what should be a close contest.

Saints vs. Jets Prediction: Saints 23, Jets 20

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