Two weeks down and the Green Bay Packers are sitting nicely with two division wins. The Packers hammered the Lions at home and now will travel to New Orleans to face the Saints in a Sunday night clash. The Saints come into this matchup at 1-1 following a Monday night loss to the Raiders. The Saints put up yardage between the 20s but suffered a 24-34 defeat. In advance of this key NFC matchup here is the Packers @ Saints edition of Know the Foe.
Coach Payton’s O can Go
Sean Payton and his offensive scheme have been putting up stats and points for years. 41-year-old Drew Brees quarterbacks this team. The future Hall of Famer can still sling it but has shown some age. He gets by with his football IQ but his arm strength isn’t what it once was.
The elite weapons are running back Alvin Kamara and wide receiver Micheal Thomas. Kamera is a do it all back with amazing balance and footwork. Thomas has been injured this year but when on the field he has been as good as any wide receiver in football. He has led the league in receptions two years running. The Saints also added receiver Emmanuel Sanders to the roster. Sanders, though aging, can still take the top off a defense. Tre’Quan Smith may have passed Sanders at this point. Furthermore, Jared Cook, another seasoned vet, continues to be productive in this Saints offense. Payton is also likely to scheme a few plays each week for Swiss army knife Taysom Hill who can line up all over the offense.
Drew Brees stays pretty clean because of his solid offensive line. Tackles Terron Armstead and Ryan Ramczyk make a great tandem. They both excel in pass protection and can get out in the run game. Left guard Andrus Peat can hold his own as can young interior Erik McCoy.
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Productive Pressure / Scary Secondary
This Packers @ Saints game may come down to how well Green Bay’s offense can perform. Elite pass rushers and experience in the secondary carry the Saints defense. Though Cameron Jordan was not a factor last week he remains an elite edge player. He has graded out well over his career against the run and getting after quarterbacks. His speed to power game is impressive and will be the main threat of keeping Aaron Rodgers upright.
Opposite Jordan, 3rd-year player Marcus Davenport will likely be out. His replacement Trey Hendricks was also limited in practice Wednesday with a groin injury. This is also the best interior defensive front the Packers have faced in this young season. David Onyemata, Sheldon Rankins, and Malcom Brown will challenge the Packers interior lineman. Brown did show up on the injury report but is expected to play. The back half of the front seven is also a solid group as well led by stand-out Demario Davis.
The strongest part of the Saints defense lies in its secondary. Loaded with savy veteran experience and tons of athletic ability, the group is led by Marshon Lattimore. He will follow every team’s number one wide receiver game-in-game-out. Lattimore has the ideal size and speed you want in a lockdown corner. On the other side, Janoris Jenkins is an experienced vet. His risky playstyle leads to turnovers but can also get him burned. Together, they make a solid duo along with a really strong safety pair in Marcus Williams and Malcolm Jenkins. Green Bay will need their pass catchers to win 1-on-1 battles this week to come out on top.
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