This Sunday will be a huge day for our Saints. We get to face “America’s Team” on Sunday Night Football at the Dome. A win would be huge for the Saints for so many different reasons. Not only would we be showing the rest of the country on primetime that we are for real, but this game could have a major affect on playoff seeding down the road. The head to head tie breaker could be the difference between having a first round bye and having to play a game on Wild Card Weekend. Despite the excellent performance our team put on display this past Sunday, the majority of the country thinks that this game will be a cake walk for Dallas. We all know our team is more than capable of getting the win at home, but if our boys can accomplish these goals, that will make the job that much smoother. Here are NolaSportsHub’s Keys to the Contest!
- Play Penalty Free Football
The biggest killer to offensive drives are penalties. It is very hard to get momentum when you are starting every drive 10-15 yards behind. Limiting the little mistakes like false starts, and holding penalties are huge when it comes to gaining momentum on offense. If you need proof, take a look at the game against Seattle. Early on, we were shooting ourselves in foot with false starts and holding penalties. Every drive that started out at 1st and 20 ended up being a 3 and out. After the first couple of possessions, we did a great job cutting those out, and the offense thrived. The same goes for defense. We cannot afford to give up 45 yards on pass interference penalties. Our defense has done a spectacular job so far this season, and if it keeps up, we could be feeling very happy come the end of Sunday night.
2. Get Alvin Kamara Going Early and Often
There is no doubt that right now, Alvin Kamara is the X-factor. As we saw against Seattle, when Alvin Kamara is hot, it opens up the entire offense. One of the biggest differences between the game against LA and the game against Seattle was Alvin Kamara. Against LA we struggled to get him going. Against Seattle, we got him going early and there was no answer for him. We saw the MVP level Alvin Kamara that takes over football games. He was dragging guys with him, making guys miss, and dancing his way into the end zone! It was a beautiful sight to see!
- Stop Dallas’ Run Game
When Ezekiel Elliott is running the ball successfully, Dallas is a much harder team to stop. We need to make it a priority to show Dallas that they are not going to be able to run the ball against our D-line. We had the second best run defense in the NFL last season, giving up only 80.2 yards a game on average. The only team ahead of us were the Chicago Bears who gave up 80.0 rushing yards a game. If we stop Dallas’ run game, that will force them to pass. That’s when Dennis Allen can start putting Prescott under pressure sending Blitz after Blitz in his face.
- Start Fast
One of the keys to the game against Seattle was the fact that we came out and punched them in the mouth. The defense forced Seattle to go three and out on the first possession of the game. Deonte Harris then took the punt back for a touchdown. Just like that, a minute and a half into the game, we had all the momentum. If we can do something similar against Dallas, it will make the job that much easier. An interception, fumble, special teams TD, or even marching right down the field and scoring a touchdown will do wonders. Not only will it give our guys that much more confidence, but it will get the crowd screaming, and the Dome rockin’! This leads us into the final Key of the Contest…
- Get the Crowd Going
The New Orleans Saints have something that many NFL teams wish they had. That is a loyal to the end, mafia type fan base! The Whodat Nation sticks behind their team through thick and thin, and provides THE BEST home field advantage in the entire NFL…and it is not close! The Whodat Nation provides a playoff type atmosphere every game which makes it a nightmare for opposing offenses to operate. The best part is that the Super Dome crowd is smart. We know that when our guys are on offense, to stay quiet and while the opposition is on offense, MAKE IT AS LOUD AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE.
So, if the Saints can play penalty free football, get Alvin Kamara going early and often, stop Dallas’ run game, start fast, and get the crowd going, we should be looking at a 3-1 team at the top of the NFC South by the end of week 4! WHODAT!!