Predicting Sunday’s Matchup: Redskins vs. Saints

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Safety Malcolm Jenkins said, “This couldn’t be more huge for us right now.  Those guys (Vilma and Smith) are two huge leaders we have.  They’re great players, and we have an extremely talented team. Add Will Smith and Jonathan Vilma to that, and our talent level goes up even more.  For our team, it’s definitely a break.”

I’d go one step further, and say that it’s going to bring that extra edge that puts the outcome in the game even more in the Saints favor.  As if the bounty mess, loss to the San Francisco 49ers, and emotion of an offseason isn’t enough, this boost should do it!

The culture of winning that the Saints have enjoyed since 2006 should continue.  It’s a culture that they have built upon, making the playoffs all but 2 of the 6 years Drew Brees has been at the quarterback helm.

If last year’s results are any indication, Brees & Co. certainly seem capable of hosting this year’s Super Bowl.  It is very likely that he and his teammates have learned from the mistakes that they made last year, especially on defense.  With Steve Spagnuolo leading them, I think they will come out more motivated, and ready to prove that they can be counted among the top-1o in that category once more.

For the first time in quite a number of years, Washington Redskins fans are expecting big things from their quarterback as well.  RGII’s speed, arm, and elusiveness could prove to be some difficulty for the Saints on Sunday afternoon, but I think the energy in the dome, coupled with the tenacity of the Saints will prove too much.

Griffin may find his groove at points on Sunday, but a combination of press coverage and blitz packages should keep him honest.  Just as the Who Dat Nation has built a culture of winning around the Saints, the Redskins have been facing an uphill battle ever since their last playoff appearance in 2007.

They are a horrid 23-41 over the last 4 seasons, and even with a Heisman Trophy winner under center, that probably won’t change too much in year 1.  Robert Griffin III’s confidence though speaks volumes of the type of player and winner that he is.  He said recently, “Last time I checked, they still have us fourth in the NFC East.  We don’t care what the predictions say, we’re going to go out and try to make sure that we’re not.”

If the last game against the Redskins is any indication, the Saints are in for quite a fight.  After falling behind early, New Orleans won 33-30 in Overtime December 6, 2009 in Washington.  The punches are sure to come from the ‘Skins, but weathering storms (pun intended) is what New Orleanians do best!

The Washington Redskins will be without the suspended Tanard Jackson and fellow safety Brandon Meriweather, which should provide some wide open lanes for New Orleans Saints wideouts and tight ends.  The Saints don’t have anyone vital missing from the lineup on Sunday, though a few players have minor tweaks and bruises.