With almost an entire half of the season awaiting, the Black and Gold will have every chance to keep themselves alive in hopes of latching onto a Wild Card spot in the 2015 NFL Playoffs.
After rebounding from early struggles that buried their team into a 1-4 hole, losing out on an opportunity to grab hold of their first winning record since 2013 certainly hurt the Saints, especially at home against a 1-6 Titans team.
But what’s in the past is in the past, and it’s time for Sean Payton and company to make their next challenge, the 3-5 Washington Redskins, their one and only focal point. Like Coach Payton said during Monday’s press conference, “The sky is not falling.” On Sunday, the New Orleans Saints will have their shot to prove that and keep a sense of panic away from the Big Easy by getting back to an even .500 before their Week 11 bye.
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Much like the Titans’ offense, the Redskins are seeing their fair share of problems on that side of the ball. And unlike Tennessee’s defense, which was ranked fifth in the NFL before their meeting with New Orleans, Washington is also struggling in that department.
The New Orleans Saints, once again, find themselves ranked No. 1 in the league in total offense heading into Sunday’s contest in our nation’s capital. The Redskins are giving up 372.9 yards per game this season, something Drew Brees and his top offense must take advantage of. With Brees playing as good as ever at the moment, running up the scoreboard shouldn’t be all that difficult.
It’s time for the defense to do their part by containing another bad offense. With Kirk Cousins at quarterback for Washington and no threatening run game, the Saints couldn’t be in a better position Sunday.
Unfortunately, New Orleans’ pass rush, which was non-existent versus Tennessee, will be up against a Redskins offensive line that has allowed a league-low nine sacks all season long. That’s where we may begin to see problems.
If, and I put massive emphasis on the if, the Saints can somehow revitalize that pass rush we saw during their three-game winning streak, and do it against one of the NFL’s top offensive lines, then there will be no excuse not to win on Sunday. It will be a difficult challenge, but fixing those errors against a solid unit like Washington’s pass protection could help the Saints regain some momentum and confidence heading into the bye week, especially on the road.
While New Orleans’ defensive line may be facing its biggest test yet on Sunday, the offensive line, which also struggled tremendously against Tennessee, will be up against a horrid Washington front seven. Again, points could come easy for the Black and Gold if guys do their job.
A win is a win, no matter how it comes. And at this point, they should take what they can get. But a solid team effort on both sides of the ball Sunday would certainly be a step back in the right direction.
The Titans were merely a speed bump the Saints put in place themselves, so it’s up to them to regain their momentum on the road and cruise on by the Redskins. Let’s see if they can correct the errors and keep their season alive and kicking. If anything, this 2015 New Orleans Saints team certainly has the heart to do so.