The New Orleans Saints will win their Monday Night Football showdown with the Las Vegas Raiders by 20-plus if they shutdown Josh Jacobs.
Josh Jacobs will enter Week 2 as a top-ten rusher in the NFL. However, the Saints are on a streak of not allowing a single rusher to hit three digits of yardage on the ground. They haven’t allowed a 100-plus yard rusher in 44 straight games.
Jacobs will post a threat to that streak in their Week 2 matchup. The second-year star should’ve been the Offensive Player of the Year in 2019. He was that good, and we saw that against divisional rival Carolina in Week 1.
The Las Vegas Raiders won 34-30. It was a good showing for Las Vegas, but they’re going to need to step their game up against the Saints, a team with much more talent on the defensive side of the ball.
While the Saints limited Ronald Jones and Leonard Fournette in their Week 1 matchup, neither are even capable of being compared to Jacobs who was seven yards short of 100 and nearly eclipsed 140 in all-purpose yards.
What was really demoralizing for the Raiders is that while they held Jacobs in check, averaging just 3.7 yards per game, they allowed him in the end zone three times. That’s what New Orleans needs to learn from and look to limit.
The Saints opted to use three safeties often against the elite receiving corps of Tampa Bay. It’ll be interesting if that’s their go-to gameplan or if they’ll Zack Baun some snaps and Alex Anzalone more than 71 percent.
They used two linebackers, instead of three as D.J. Swearinger played almost 50% of the defensive snaps as well. The Saints are facing a different beast, and players like Anzalone, Baun and Kaden Elliss may pose a better matchup.
Whatever they opt to do, limiting Josh Jacobs will be the key to the game for the Saints, and it will be the most decisive factor for a New Orleans victory.