While NFL teams that play in London typically have their bye week the following week, that’s not the case this year.
Both New Orleans and Minnesota, who met last weekend in a 28-25 win by the Vikings, are playing again this week. On Sunday, Green Bay will meet the New York Giants in London, and neither of those teams will be idle the following week, either.
How have teams without a bye week performed after playing in London?
Prior to the 2022 season, teams with games in London were almost always off the following week. The five teams (out of 60 who played in London before the current season) who did not have a week off after their UK game were the Colts in 2016, the Jaguars, Dolphins and Ravens in 2017, and the Dolphins in 2021.
That probably doesn’t mean much for the Saints’ next few weeks because: A) those teams’ 2-3 record in this situation doesn’t tell us a lot; and B) five games is an awfully small sample size.
What should we expect from New Orleans against the Seahawks?
The Saints (1-3) take on Seattle (2-2) on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET in a crucial, if not must-win, game. The Seahawks are coming off a thrilling 48-45 win over Detroit.
With three straight losses since a narrow Week 1 win over the Falcons, New Orleans is in danger of falling out of the NFC playoff picture.
The Saints are currently 5.5-point favorites to beat Seattle, and that’s despite them likely missing starting quarterback Jameis Winston, who did not participate in Wednesday’s practice.
Are the Saints better with Dalton or Winston?
After backup Andy Dalton’s performance last week, it’s not only unclear whether Winston will play this weekend, but whether the Saints would actually suffer without him.
Dalton was not spectacular against Minnesota last weekend, but finished a respectable 20-of-28 for 236 yards with one TD and no interceptions. His success avoiding turnovers proved crucial for New Orleans, as Winston had thrown five interceptions total in Weeks 2 and 3.
Dalton also was sacked just twice by the Vikings, while Winston had been sacked 11 times in the first three games of the season. Dalton’s mistake-free play helped the Saints perform much better overall, as they scored 25 points, albeit in a loss, after scoring 24 combined in the two weeks prior.
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The Seahawks are a solid pick at +5.5
The Seahawks feel like a safe bet to cover in this game, if not win it, for a couple reasons.
Not only is Seattle 2-2, but it was competitive in its 27-23 loss to Atlanta in Week 3. The only game Seattle has lost by more than four points was the Week 2 match-up with the 49ers in San Francisco, a 27-7 loss.
That outcome says more about how difficult it is to play in San Francisco – where the defending Super Bowl champion Rams lost 24-9 on Monday – than it does about Seattle.
It’s hard to imagine red-hot Geno Smith and the Seattle offense – which not only scored 48 points last weekend, but have gained 420 and 555 yards the last two weeks, respectively – failing to keep up with a Saints team averaging just 19 points per game.
Add it all up, and it’s hard to see this being the week New Orleans gets its first relatively comfortable win of the season.
AP Photo/Frank Augstein