After losing three in a row, the New Orleans Saints finally won -- against the lowly Carolina Panthers.
This Saints team is still in position to make the postseason, believe it or not, thanks to a poor NFC South all around. But, even though it's well within reach, the Saints still have a ways to go as far as convincing they can make anything happen in the playoffs.
Going into this Week 15 matchup with the New York Giants, the Saints need four specific people to step up if they're going to stop a suddenly-hot NFC East squad.
1. Nathan Shepherd, DL
There may not be a worse run defender on the Saints than defensive lineman Nathan Shepherd. He's been a liability for this defense. In fact, if you asked Pro Football Focus, there are only nine qualified players in all of football who are worse at his position. They've given him a season-long rank of 122 out of 131 as we speak.
The Giants are coming in with one of the best running backs in football in Saquon Barkley. Their offensive line is one of the worst there is, but Barkley has still been a big part of the offense and New Orleans has to be on their guard.
Shepherd signed a three-year deal with the Saints and isn't a free agent until 2026, so they're either stuck with him or will eat some dead money if he doesn't pick it up. This stretch run to end the season, with the division still within reach, is pivotal for Shepherd.