One week after a 38 -3 thrashing of the Green Bay Packers to open the season, the New Orleans Saints clunked their method to a 26 -7 roadway loss to the Carolina Panthers. The 1-1 Saints now take a trip north to handle the 1-1 New England Patriots.
After rolling up 322 offending lawns versus the Packers, the Saints handled a meager 128 overall lawns versus Carolina. New Orleans lacked C Erik McCoy for the video game and were missing out on 5 offending assistants due to the fact that of COVID-19 procedures.
Offensive line issues contributed significantly to the group’s battles. The Saints hurried for 171 backyards versus Green Bay, however just a paltry 48 lawns on the ground versus the Panthers. They enter this video game ranked dead last in the NFL in overall offense after the very first 2 weeks.
New Orleans handles a Patriots defense that ranks 5th in overall yardage and has actually enabled the 2nd least points in the league. New England has actually required the 2nd most turnovers in the NFL up until now. They had a hard time sometimes defensively in 2020 due to the fact that of numerous opt-outs on that side of the ball.
The Saints requirement to develop offending balance to reduce the pressure on QB Jameis Winston and a passing attack that likewise had a hard time recently. Can they do it versus a generally stout defense led by New England coach Bill Belichick?
SAINTS RUSHING ATTACK VS. PATRIOTS RUN DEFENSE
New Orleans Running Game
The Saints running attack ranks 17 th after 2 video games and has actually balanced just 3.9 lawns per bring. After a controling efficiency in week one, the offending line was bossed around the line of skirmish by the Panthers recently.
Cesar Ruiz, who changed McCoy at center recently, had a hard time to deal with interior projects. Left guard Andrus Peat was similarly abysmal, while Calvin Throckmorton was overwhelmed sometimes in Ruiz’s ideal guard area.
Tackles Ryan Ramczyk and Terron Armstead, normally dominant, had issues including the edge to permit the Saints rushes to get outside versus Carolina. McCoy (calf) is doubtful for this Sunday however has yet to practice today.
New Orleans has actually generally controlled the line of skirmish over the last few years. Their capability to manage the point of attack has actually sustained the offense and enabled them to be among the most well balanced attacks in the league.
Pro Bowl RB Alvin Kamara is the group’s leading rush and the focus of the whole offense. Kamara had simply 5 backyards on the ground recently after 83 hurrying backyards to open the year.
One of the most explosive gamers in the league, Kamara can successfully get backyards in between the takes on and has terrible lowering abilities.
Second-year RB Tony Jones has 57 hurrying lawns up until now after a standout training school. He got 50 lawns in the opener and reveals outstanding vision and natural feel for obstructing. Not as explosive as Kamara, Jones still has excellent lowering capability and burst into open area.
Taysom Hill, an important weapon over the last 3 seasons, has actually had a peaceful start to the year. Hill has 17 backyards on simply 4 brings in 32 offending snaps up until now. A rugged runner in between the takes on with exceptional speed outdoors field, Hill has actually generally included a physical measurement to the running attack.
New England Run Defense
The Patriots entered into 2021 seeming more physical after ranking simply 26 th versus the run last season. Veteran MLB Dont’ a Hightower returned after pulling out in2020 Hightower has elite anticipation and a fantastic understanding of opposing offenses.
Complementing Hightower at within linebacker is Ja’Whaun Bentley, a huge and physical run-stopper. Bentley leads the group in takes on up until now, consisting of 2 for loss, after completing 2nd because classification in 2015.
Matt Judon, a crucial offseason addition, is a great pass rush who is an underrated run protector. Kyle Van Noy and Matt Uche male the other edge and supply a physical push along the exterior. Henry Anderson, Deatrich Wise, and Chase Winovich offer edge flexibility for Belichick’s numerous protective fronts.
The Patriots invested a second-round option on DT Christian Barmore to strengthen their interior. Barmore appears like a possible star inside. He signs up with big-bodied takes on Lawrence Guy, Davon Godchaux, and Carl Davis to congest interior hurrying lanes.
New England’s active trio of securities play an essential function in their run defense. Devin McCourty is the star of the group, however Kyle Dugger and Adrian Phillips are likewise exceptionally active near the line of skirmish.
What to Watch
The Saints frantically require to develop their running video game early versus the Patriots. It begins with managing the line of skirmish, something they came a cropper to do last Sunday.
A reliable hurrying attack will provide the group much-needed balance, however likewise open play-action chances for Winston and the death video game.
What Belichick’s defenses do finest is eliminating the opposition’s finest weapon. For the New Orleans that’s Alvin Kamara, who will be utilized all around the development to get a match benefit. The Saints should not just get press at the point of attack, however require to be efficient in opening lowering lanes for Kamara and Tony Jones.
Jones and Taysom Hill will be undervalued in the group’s attack on Sunday. If they can supply an effective hurrying attack, that will enable Sean Payton to utilize Kamara as a receiver more while keeping the hazard of the run.
The Patriots opened the year by permitting Miami simply 74 hurrying backyards, however were gashed for 152 backyards on the ground by the Jets recently.
Neither the Dolphins nor Jets have a running back almost the quality of Kamara, or an offending line as dominant as New Orleans has actually been for the majority of the last 3 seasons.
Look for the Saints to assault New England off-tackle with Kamara early on, where the Patriots have actually struggled most. Ruiz, Throckmorton, Peat, and McCoy if he plays need to get interior push and supply lowering choices for the New Orleans runners to get them outdoors field.