NFL picks 2021, Week 1: Who the experts are taking in Saints vs. Packers

By John Sigler

Are the New Orleans Saints flying into Jacksonville for a Week 1 loss? Their season opener with the Green Bay Packers will be nationally broadcast with high expectations — mostly for Green Bay, who have become a trendy Super Bowl pick. The Saints are just hoping to reach the postseason. Still, many fans have remained optimistic.

But just 9% of the analysts and experts polled by NFL Pickwatch are giving the Saints a chance. An overwhelming 91% majority are penciling in Green Bay to win this weekend, which, well, isn’t ideal from New Orleans’ perspective.

So how can the Saints avoid that?

It all rides on Jameis Winston. If he can protect the football and pick the Packers secondary apart from the pocket, it creates more favorable looks for Alvin Kamara as a runner behind the league’s best offensive line. The more often the Saints can dictate the terms of this game on offense, the better for their defense. Green Bay’s least certain unit may be their own offensive line, and the Saints defensive line is built to take advantage of that. If they can rattle Aaron Rodgers and keep him out of rhythm, maybe they have a chance.


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