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Saints v. Rams: Week 12 Preview

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Week 12 of football is here! The race to secure those last wins for the playoffs is coming to close. The time to play perfect football is now. The 4-6 Rams will travel to the Superdome to face off against the 4-6 Saints.

Week 11 Recap:

The New Orleans Saints suffered a gruesome loss last Thursday night against the Panthers. Their loss was self-inflicted, as the Saints defense managed to keep Cam Newton in check for most the game, but under committed to their game plan during big plays. The Saints special teams consistently gave the offense very poor field position. Ultimately, the Saints offense could not score quick enough, despite outscoring the Panthers 17-3 in the second half.

The Rams started their number 1 pick of the 2016 draft, Jared Goff. The Rams defense put up a great fight in the first half, only allowing 93 yards. A frustrated but resilient Dolphins offense found a way to break the Ram’s defensive wall. Tannehill found Jarvis Landry in the end zone with at 10-yard pass. With 2 minutes left in the game, the Dolphins took their moral boost and drove down the field to score another touchdown. Ryan Tannehill found DeVante Parker on a 9-yard pass to snatch away the win from the rookie Goff.

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Week 12 Preview

Key Areas of Focus:

Saints Special Team: The Saints defense worries me less in this match up. I don’t expect the Rams offense to go off and put up high offensive numbers, so the defense should pull own weight in this game. The Saints special teams is what needs to show up to play this Sunday to secure the win. Last week the Saints hired new special teams coach, Kevin O’Dea. I expect to see coach O’Dea fix the childish mistakes the special teams have committed in recent wins. I expect to see this special teams unit more disciplined when they take the field this week.

Jared Goff: Jared will make only his second NFL start. What should the Saints defense make of Jared Goff? Well, he didn’t look very impressive in his first start in the NFL. 17 for 31 passing for 134 yards against a defense that normally gives up 225 passing yards a game. His completion rate was just shy of 55%. In comparison, Carson Wentz, the second overall pick in the draft made his debut with the Eagles by going 22 for 37 passing for 278 yards, and 2 touchdowns. The Saints defense should focus on breaking down the rookie quarterback on a mental level. If Goff can handle the pressure this defense will show him, and make accurate throws the Rams offense can make this a close game.

Matchup to watch:

Saints defensive tackle Kevin Williams (93) and nose tackle John Jenkins (92) and defensive end Tavaris Barnes (90). Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Saints defensive tackle Kevin Williams (93) and nose tackle John Jenkins (92) and defensive end Tavaris Barnes (90). Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports /

Rams offensive line vs. Saints defensive line. The Rams key to pull a win in this game will come down to how well the Rams offensive line can make holes for Todd Gurley to run through. If the Saints defense can keep the run in check against Miami, Gurley will be a non-factor. The Rams will then rely on Goff to keep them in the game, despite his rough debut last week against Miami.

Prediction:

Drew Brees will find the holes in the Rams defense. Goff will be a non-factor, and will throw for about 150 yards, while Gurley will rush for less than 100 yards.

Next: Saints fantasy outlook: Week 12, Rams

The Saints will come out on top 24 – 10, and improve to 5-6.

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