It will be a huge test for this Saints defense.
In Week 14, the New Orleans Saints are set to host
that bunch of frauds the Philadelphia Eagles. While the Saints are 10-2 and the Eagles are 3-8-1, both teams are fighting with eyes on the postseason.
The New Orleans Saints have already clinched a 2020 playoff berth after beating the Atlanta Falcons last week, but the Saints have their eyes on a bigger prize: the number one seed in the NFC. The Eagles, on the other hand, are still in the race for the NFC East, sitting just two games out of first place.
Both teams should be prepared to give it their all Sunday afternoon, with the Saints likely leaning on Taysom Hill and the Eagles handing the reigns to rookie Jalen Hurts.
Here are the biggest questions I have for the team heading into Sunday’s game:
1. Which quarterback starts for the Saints? No, I’m not suggesting the Saints go with Jameis Winston this week. Instead, there’s actually a chance – all be it a small one – that Drew Brees returns and is ready to go for this week’s game. With a beatable opponent on the schedule, Sean Payton and company should be 100% certain Drew is absolutely healthy before suiting up, but if he is…
2. How do the Saints do against a running quarterback? The Saints defense has been one of the best, if not the best, units in the NFL in 2020, but they’ve largely faced pure pocket passers this season like Tom Brady, Matt Ryan, and Matthew Stafford. But today’s NFL sees most high-powered offenses operating with a more mobile quarterback (i.e. the Seahawks, Bills, Ravens, and even the Chiefs). This will be one of the biggest tests of the Saints defense facing Jalen Hurts, so it will be interesting to see how the defense performs.
3. What about the tight ends? One thing the Saints have struggled with in 2020 has been guarding opposing tight ends (Darren Waller, anyone?). The Eagles have one of the better duos of tight ends in the NFL in Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert, so the Saints will be tested on defense in more ways than one.
4. Can Marshon Lattimore turn things around? There’s not a pleasant way to say this: Marshon Lattimore did not look good against the Atlanta Falcons last week. Part of that could have been the scheme, with Dennis Allen generally leaving Lattimore on an island to cover Calvin Ridley with no safety help over the top. Part of it too could have been due to lingering effects from an injury that forced him to miss the week before against the Broncos. In either case, Lattimore will need to play better if the Saints expect to maintain this level of defensive play against better teams.
5. Will this be the week for Alvin Kamara? Don’t worry: I’m purposefully making this sound more dramatic than it actually is. Alvin Kamara has been itching to throw a pass for the Saints, and we know how much Sean Payton likes to open up the playbook against the Philadelphia Eagles. Will this be the week we finally get to see Kamara air it out?
So those are the things I’m looking at in the game. What about you? What are you looking at specifically in this game? Something different? Tell me in the comments. Send me presents. Make sure you follow Canal Street Chronicles on Twitter at @SaintsCSC, on Instagram at @SaintsCSC, “Like” us on Facebook at Canal Street Chronicles, follow us on Instagram at @SaintsCSC and make sure you’re subscribed to our new YouTube channel.