When the Miami Dolphins travel to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome to square off with the New Orleans Saints on Monday Night Football, the game will feature two unexpectedly undefeated teams trying to keep their momentum moving forward.
Miami beat the Cleveland Browns in Week 1, but it was victories over the Indianapolis Colts and Atlanta Falcons in each of the last two weeks respectively that proved this Dolphins squad has legitimate talent in all three facets of the game.
New Orleans will pose the biggest threat to Miami’s perfection in Week 4. Led by quarterback Drew Brees, the Saints are the fourth-best team in the league in terms of passing yards per game (318.7).
With both the Saints and the Dolphins entering this matchup at 3-0 on the young season, this unlikely battle of undefeated franchises will make Monday’s game can’t-miss television.
Where: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans
When: Monday, Sept. 30 at 8:30 p.m. ET
Live Stream: Watch ESPN
Listen: Online at NFL Audio Pass
Betting Line (via Covers):
- Over/Under: 48 points
- Spread: New Orleans (-6.5)
Miami Injuries: (via ESPN)
Dimitri Patterson, CB, Doubtful (groin)
Paul Soliai, DT, Questionable (knee)
Cameron Wake, DE, Questionable (knee)
Chris Clemons, S, Questionable (hamstring)
Dannell Ellerbe, LB, Questionable (ribs)
New Orleans Injuries: (via ESPN)
Jabari Greer, CB, Questionable (back)
Roman Harper, S, Questionable (knee)
Lance Moore, WR, Questionable (wrist)
Mark Ingram, RB, Questionable (toe)
Top Matchup: The Saints Defense vs. The Dolphins Offense
Last season, both New Orleans’ defensive unit and Miami’s offensive unit were lackluster at best. After an offseason filled with coaching and personnel changes on both sides, each has exceeded expectations thus far.
Something has to give on Monday night, though.
New Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan has brought new life to the team, and his unit is playing much better in 2013. While opponents are still gouging New Orleans at times on the ground (allowing 111.3 yards per game), the franchise is fourth in the NFL against the pass.
The defense will be pushed to its limit by the improved Dolphins offensive unit. Led by the improvements of Ryan Tannehill under center and Lamar Miller in the backfield, Miami has created a more balanced offense.
Add in the presence of a bona fide deep threat like wide receiver Mike Wallace on the outside, and this is a complete Dolphins offense that will only continue to build a rapport as the season progresses.
The unit that steps up biggest Monday night will lead its team to victory.
While both Miami and New Orleans come into Monday night’s matchup undefeated, it will be the Saints who walk out with the 4-0 record. There is just too much talent in the arm of Brees to allow the Dolphins' talented defensive unit to limit the Saints' offensive unit.
New Orleans has tight end beast Jimmy Graham playing red hot right now, and that will continue against Miami’s linebacker group. While the Saints may have a hard time mounting a rushing attack against the Dolphins' stingy front seven, the air assault will continue to make up for the lack of success.
The key to a New Orleans’ victory will be the play of its secondary. If the team can stifle Tannehill early and force him to settle for safer short passes or throw it away consistently, Miami won’t be able to amass enough offense to keep pace with the Saints.
With two undefeated teams going head-to-head, this is easily one of the most interesting games of the week and the perfect end to what should be an exciting Week 4.
Final Score: New Orleans 34, Miami 24