NFL experts throughout the internet are favoring the Saints to defeat the Redskins at the Superdome on Sunday, despite the fact that New Orleans will be playing without head coach Sean Payton, and may be without defensive end Will Smith and linebacker Jonathan Vilma. Payton, Smith, and Vilma were suspended for their roles in the Saints' bounty system, though a federal district court is set to rule on an injunction request made by Smith which could make him eligible to play. Washington will be debuting rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III.
According to the experts, it shouldn't matter. All eight human experts at CBS picked the Saints, as did the three experts at Yahoo. Out of an army of twelve prognosticators at ESPN, only three -- Merril Hoge, Seth Wickersham, and Keyshawn Johnson -- chose the Redskins. Only Warren Sapp has disclosed his picks at NFL.com, but he also chose the Saints.