NolaSportsHub’s Keys to the Contest: Week 5

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The New Orleans Saints have done a brilliant job this season, not only weathering the storm offensively after Drew Brees went down, but the defense has done a PHENOMENAL job so far as well. The Saints went into the game this past Sunday knowing that they were going to be tested against a good Dallas team. They passed the test. It might not have been pretty, but championship teams find a way to win! ( )

This Sunday will be another test for this Saints team, all be it, a different type of test. As a matter of fact, it might just be the opposite of what happened against the Cowboys. The Cowboys like to play balanced offense. They like to run the ball and pass when the time is right. The Saints’ opponent this week, Tampa Bay, likes to do the opposite. Tampa loves to air the ball out every chance possible. That is why the Saints secondary needs to have a great game. This leads us into the first key to the contest. 

  1. Have Good Secondary Play 

As previously mentioned, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers love to air the ball out. This past Sunday, Jameis Winston threw for 385 yards, 4 touchdowns, and an interception. Chris Godwin had 12 receptions for 172 yards and 2 touchdowns, and Mike Evans had 4 catches for 89 yards, and a touchdown. Cameron Brate also caught a touchdown on route to the Bucs putting up 55 points against the Rams at the LA Coliseum. Winston Threw the ball 41 times in comparison to the team’s 29 rushing attempts. Marshon Lattimore will have to have another shut down game like he did against Dallas. Eli Apple, P.J. Williams, and Co. will have to play solid football as well. If the secondary can play like we know they are capable of, it will take away Tampa’s bread and butter, and the Saints will have a great chance to move to 4-1. 

  1. Let Teddy Air it Out

One thing that the Saints have struggled with since Drew Brees went out is the ability to pick up those chunk plays. While we have seen some good drives out of the offense since Teddy has taken over, they have pretty much all been long methodical drives. If there was ever going to be a game where Teddy was going to be able to air the ball out down the field, it is going to be this one. The Bucs have the worst secondary out of all the opponents the Saints have faced thus far. While Tampa has the ability to put up points in bunches, they also have the ability to give up points at the same rate. We would like to see Teddy taking some more shots down field this game, and see him start to build his confidence on those types of plays before we head into the next two weeks against Jacksonville and Chicago. Not only will this help the overall confidence of the offense, but it will also open up the run game even further with the defense knowing that they have to respect the pass and the run. The two go hand in hand!

  1. Play Penalty Free Football 

This is a key that was included in the last keys to the contest, but it still reigns true. It is very, very difficult for the offense to get any momentum going when they have to start every drive 10-15 yards behind. It has been evident for a few games now. Every drive against both Seattle and Dallas that started off with a false start or a holding penalty ended up being a three and out. You can just see the difference when the offense can go the first couple of plays penalty free and pick up the first down. The wheels start turning, and most of the time it results in points on the board. 

If the Saints can keep their star players (Michael Thomas, Alvin Kamara, Marshon Lattimore, Cam Jordan, and Demario Davis just to name a few) playing to their capabilities, and executing these keys to the game, then the Saints have a great shot at ending week 5 with a record of 4-1 and on top of the NFC South! Whodat!

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