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Keys to the Game: Saints vs. Rams

hispandrix
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Special Teams

Dec 8, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; Carolina Panthers kicker Graham Gano (9) watches after kicking a successful field goal against the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports

Honestly, there’s not much to add-on Special Teams for this week. It’s really the same things each week. Thomas Morstead punted only four times last week, which considering the Saints still put up 31 points is pretty impressive. Garrett Hartley had only one field goal try, and was good from 19.

What would ultimately concern me most is if Tavon Austin plays. Just heading back to last week, but Panthers WR/KR Ted Ginn Jr. had 3 returns (2 kick, 1 punt) last week, and had 105 return yards. He averaged 36.5 on kickoffs, and a 32-yard punt return. We’ve seen Tavon blow up plenty of times this season, and even if he doesn’t play, the return game is still something the Saints must tighten up on.

Quietly. Not having players like Rafael Bush & Keyunta Dawson could be a huge reason why. Remember, 53-man roster.

What to Watch For: Jeff Fisher’s decisions. Greg Zuerlein is 20/22 on the year, and 12/14 at home. He’s missed & only attempted once from 50 yards and up. He’s a very accurate kicker, and in a game where points could make the difference, don’t be surprised to see some long tries from him, or the fact that Fisher could just say ‘screw it’ with nothing to lose this season, and just go for it.

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