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The Minnesota Vikings pulled off one of the more impressive feats in quite some time, winning a game while their quarterback had to learn the offense as it was happening. A testament to how intelligent new quarterback Joshua Dobbs is, while also indicating that the Falcons may have some serious issues. Dobbs and company will not get the same benefit this time around, going against a much tougher defensive test against the New Orleans Saints.
Joshua Dobbs Under 1.5 Passing Touchdowns
What Joshua Dobbs did last week in a win against the Atlanta Falcons is nothing short of remarkable. At one point learning the center’s cadence on the sideline while having to ask questions about the routes inside the huddle. He now gets the benefit of another week of practice to learn the Vikings offense, potentially opening up the playbook for a more versatile attack.
The issue is that success will be tough to come by against the Saints defense as he gets more integrated into the system. The Saints defense as a whole rank ninth in overall Def DVOA, thriving with their ability to limit mid field production with an elite defensive success rate metric and force early outs and stalled out drives. That limits the amount of scoring opportunities on the Vikings end, giving value to this prop’s under.
Not only that, but the Vikings may be better off running the ball in the few opportunities that they will get inside the 10-yard line. As good as they have been, the Saints defense is actually below average at stopping the run by ranking 17th in Def Rush DVOA. This is in large part of their scheme, leaving their linebackers in coverage while only pressuring with their front four. This opens up holes on the line for the Vikings running backs to exploit.
Derek Carr Under 1.5 Passing Touchdowns
Joshua Dobbs will not be the only quarterback who may go under their passing touchdowns total as Derek Carr is in a good position to do so as well. Unlike Dobbs’ situation of being better off handing it off due to the Saints defensive scheme, Carr’s under brings value in that he is horrific inside the 20.
Taysom Hill to Juwan Johnson Passing TD (1/1) pic.twitter.com/i5su06OxwC
— NFL TD Videos (@NFLTDVideos2023) November 5, 2023
His struggles with the Raiders have carried over to the Saints as Carr continues to look lost as he tries to make plays happen in the shortened field. The Saints have finally recognized this, opting into using Taysom Hill in quarterback scrambles as well as using Alvin Kamara and Jamaal Williams on the ground as well.
Alvin Kamara Over 49.5 Rushing Yards
It’s been a relatively quiet return for Alvin Kamara as he has yet to show flashes of his former self in the ground game. This is in large part of the Saints offensive line’s early season struggles, now steadily improving to 12th in Adjusted Line Yards. With improvements in blocking comes a higher chance of Kamara finding rush success.
Especially when in the mid field as the Vikings have struggled to contain rush production by ranking 21st in Def Rush Success Rate. They have a hard time stopping the opposing running back from gaining half the distance to gain on early downs as well as limiting the conversion on third down. Expect modest gains at a time with each time Kamara carries the ball on early downs.
Alvin Kamara Anytime Touchdown
Kamara will not only be in a position to bounce back in terms of rushing yards, but he may find himself in the end zone as well against the Vikings. He serves as their best option inside the 10 while Carr continues to struggle in the red zone, as well as being the perfect complement to countering the Vikings defensive scheme.
That scheme involves the Vikings linebackers blitzing at the highest rate in football, leaving the second level exposed while simultaneously generating a below average amount of Pressure. That gives Kamara room to work with on dump offs in a collapsing pocket, potentially punching it in for six through the air.