I wrote keys to victory prior to the week 8 matchup versus the LA Rams. I like to think Sean Payton read it & it contributed to the win since they did almost everything I had said. Well I will get back to reality Saints fans with another one.
The offense typically starts with Drew Brees, but even he will tell you that it starts with the offensive line providing him time. The Saints have been dinged up with a few injuries along the front 5. They have all been able to play well enough to continue winning. They need to play even better as this might be the best combination of interior defensive linemen in the league. They need to run the ball efficiently which the Rams have struggled with at times, and work the short passes to stand as king of the hill in the time of possession department.
Drew Brees will do his usual Drew Brees routine, but he will need another receiving threat to take the pressure off of Michael Thomas. A key change in personnel will be the return of Aquib Talib. With Keith Kirkwood expected to be out for this game, Ted Ginn, Trequan Smith, Tommylee Lewis, Austin Carr, or Josh Hill may need to catch the Rams with their pants down.
On the other side of the ball there are a few changes from the initial matchup that will needed to be accounted for & overcame. Sheldon Rankins really had his coming out this year contributing to the Saints defensive hold on offenses this year. David Onyemata has played well in a rotational role & needs to just be a menace allowing linebackers to flow & bring enough pressure to force premature passes or even better sacks. Taylor Stallworth’s hand usage has also been fun to watch, and will be needed to interrupt the Rams blocking. With that said Marcus Davenport & Alex Okafor need to make 3rd downs a place where Jared Goff is uncomfortable and doesn’t wasn’t to be. The defensive backs are the crew from the previous meeting. Marshon Lattimore needs to do his usual impersonating the shadow of the star receiver, while everyone can afford to bend but not break, and capitalize on mistakes and turnovers.
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