New Orleans Saints: 3 matchups to keep an eye on against Falcons
Demario Davis vs Austin Hooper
Austin Hooper may not flash out in the flat on every play, but when he does, he’s been highly effective. The Saints need to make a gameplan around stopping Hooper, who has developed into one of the league’s most used tight ends.
16th in the league in pass defense, the Saints will likely be putting a linebacker on Hooper for the bulk of the game. That linebacker may be up in the air, but it’s a good chance that it’ll be Demario Davis.
Davis has played 100% of the team’s defensive snaps in three of their outings, the highest amount of any linebacker. He’s their go-to option when it comes to halting progress in the middle of the field, and he’ll be incredibly important against Atlanta.
As for Hooper, he has 50 or more yards in six of the team’s eight games and has two 100-yard games. He’s been heavily used and has averaged almost four first-down catches per game. He’ll be a key player for Atlanta, and Davis must shut him down.
It’ll be Davis and the safeties responsible for limiting Hooper, and they must restrain him in order to stall Atlanta drives.